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Johnson comes alive as 'Stars get to Wakui, Lions

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Johnson comes alive as 'Stars get to Wakui, Lions

by Jim Allen (May 23, 2009)

Dan Johnson finally got into the swing of things on Friday night and lift the BayStars to their second straight interleague win.

Johnson, who had been batting .202, snapped a 13-at-bat hitless streak by going 3-for-3 with a three-run homer and two walks in Yokohama's 15-5 thumping of the Saitama Seibu Lions at Seibu Dome.

The first-year BayStar, whose selective style had sent him to the dugout without swinging far too often this spring, had four swings in a first at-bat that culminated in a triple and set up Yokohama's second run.

"I had more swings in that at-bat than I had in [two games in Chiba]," said Johnson, who followed with two walks before putting the pedal to the metal.

"I think those walks really got me going. Seeing all those pitches really opened me up. It's not my style, but I'm going to be more aggressive if that's what it takes."

His three-run, sixth-inning homer broke the game wide open and he led off the BayStars' five-run ninth with a single for his first three-hit game in Japan.

Yokohama ace Daisuke Miura (5-2) had his toughest outing of the season, allowing five runs in six innings.

But after suffering a 1-0 loss in his last start, Miura's teammates torched Lions ace Hideaki Wakui for eight runs in 5-1/3 innings.

The BayStars opened the scoring when Tatsuya Shimozono took Wakui deep with one out for his first career home run. Johnson followed with a triple and scored on Takahiro Saeki's single.

Miura, who entered the game having thrown 21 straight scoreless innings, stretched his streak to 23 before the hosts tied it in the third. Hiroyuki Nakajima's single, the Lions' third hit of the inning, plated one run, and Takeya Nakamura's sacrifice fly tied it.

The BayStars regained the lead with three runs in the fourth, helped when a Wakui error turned a poor suicide squeeze into a two-run play.

G.G. Sato, whose inability to make a pair of tough catches in right field boosted the BayStars offense, led off the Lions' fourth with his seventh home run of the season. Nakajima added a solo shot in the fifth, but the Central League's weakest offense punched the Lions' lights out in the sixth.

Three singles and a sacrifice made it 6-4 and delivered Wakui's walking papers. Tatsuhiko Kinjo's pinch-hit single off big league-wannabe Koji Mitsui tacked on another run before Johnson unloaded with his three-run shot.

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