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Dicky & the G-men throttle Swallows

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Dicky & the G-men throttle Swallows

by Rob Smaal (May 5, 2010)

For the second day in a row, a former Swallows pitcher stuck it to his old mates.

A day after Shugo Fujii beat Yakult, it was Dicky Gonzalez's turn Tuesday as he pitched the Yomiuri Giants to a 5-1 win over the Swallows at Tokyo Dome.

Shinnosuke Abe and Alex Ramirez each drove in a pair of runs as the Giants boosted their Central League-best record to 21-12.

Gonzalez (3-3) allowed just one unearned run through six frames. The burly Puerto Rican right-hander gave up six hits, walked two and struck out a pair.

"I felt pretty good today," said Gonzalez, a 15-game winner last year with Yomiuri who played for the Swallows from 2004-08. "I had my control and I got the win so I'm happy. Summer is coming up so I'll be even more ready and hope to get more wins."

The Giants took care of business early Tuesday, striking for four runs over the first two frames off Swallows starter Masanori Ishikawa.

After Hayato Sakamoto, Hisayoshi Chono and Michihiro Ogasawara led off the home half of the first inning with consecutive singles to load the bases, Ramirez delivered a sacrifice fly to right to open the scoring.

Abe, making a rare start at first base, then took Ishikawa deep to center. Swallows outfielder Norichika Aoki got to the ball on the warning track, but was unable to make the catch as it glanced off his glove for a two-run triple. An RBI double to left an inning later by Sakamoto made it a 4-0 game.

"I was thinking sacrifice fly in that situation, but I got good wood on the ball and hit it in a good spot between the outfielders," Abe said. "I was surprised it carried that far but I'll take it."

The Swallows got one back in the top of the fourth. Aoki popped up a bunt that Gonzalez fielded on the hop and threw to first base, only there was no one covering the bag and the ball sailed into foul territory. By the time Abe retrieved it, Aoki was motoring around second and slid safely into third. Jamie D'Antona cashed him in when he flared an RBI single to right.

Gonzalez would load the bases later in the inning on a single and a walk, but the Swallows were unable to push another run across as Atsushi Fujimoto grounded out to short and Ryoji Aikawa struck out to snuff out that mini-uprising.

Ramirez drove in his second run of the afternoon with an eighth-inning RBI single off reliever Yoshitaka Hashimoto.

For the second day in a row, Giants skipper Tatsunori Hara brought in closer Marc Kroon to work the ninth in a non-save situation. On Tuesday, Kroon walked two batters but got out of it unscathed thanks to a 4-6-3 double play and a fly out to center field.

Ishikawa saw his record fall to 0-6 with the loss. He gave up four runs on seven hits--including four to the first five batters he faced--over 6 2/3 innings.

The swooning Swallows have lost eight of their last nine, a slide that has seen them drop into last place in the Central League with a 12-20-1 record.

Right-hander Tony Barnette (2-1) is expected to get the start Wednesday for the Swallows as they try to avoid a three-game sweep. Righty Shun Tono (5-1) will likely get the call for the Giants.

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