Baseball: Akiyama throws 7 shutout innings to finish Hanshin’s skid


Takumi Akiyama of the Hanshin Tigers will play against the Chunichi Dragons in the Vantelin Dome Nagoya on August 22, 2021. (Kyodo)

NAGOYA (Kyodo) – Takumi Akiyama tossed seven innings with four hits as the Central League top Hanshin Tigers snapped their three-game skid with a 2-0 win over the Chunichi Dragons on Sunday.

Akiyama (9-4) hit five and went one to win his third straight decision, beating Chunichi starter Shinnosuke Ogasawara (6-6), who gave up two runs over eight innings.

“I was determined to finish the team’s skid and focused on getting off to a good start,” said Akiyama, who allowed a goal in the first four innings.

“I tried to play with a good rhythm and I managed it thanks to good throws called by (catcher Ryutaro) Umeno and our good defense.”

Mel Rojas Jr. hit with a high fastball and went with two outs in the third in the Vantelin Dome Nagoya deep over the right center wall, where the left Ogasawara pulled the team back in three of the first four innings.

But the Tigers made one more run in run six while barely making contact after Koji Chikamoto pulled a one-out walk. While the runner left and the shortstop covered the base, Takumu Nakano hit the ball between third and short to get the runners into the corners.

Slugger Jerry Sands’ weak grounder, too slow to allow double play at the end of the inning, allowed Chikamoto to score from third place.

Cleaning up Yusuke Oyama hit the best ball of the inning ahead of Ogasawara, but second baseman Hayato Mizowaki made a dive stop and threw it out to end the inning.

Rookie Tigers right fielder Teruaki Sato threw out Dayan Viciedo, who tried to stretch a leadoff single into a double in the seventh inning.

Ogasawara held the Tigers on five hits and one walk while beating three but was marked defeat while Suguru Iwazaki and Robert Suarez each went a scoreless inning, the latter being his 27th.

At the Tokyo Dome, troubled newcomer Sho Nakata beat a homer with two runs in seventh place in three runs when the runner-up Yomiuri Giants came back to score a 4-4 tie with DeNA BayStars.

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Takeya Nakamura won a grand slam 3-4 in the first inning and scored five runs as the Seibu Lions won 10-3 to top the streak of Orix Buffaloes, who led the Pacific League in four games break up. Junichiro Kishi also got homered and drove in four races.

At PayPay Dome, Nobuhiro Matsuda broke an eighth inning tie with a pinch-hit two-run double when the SoftBank Hawks beat the Lotte Marines 4-2.

At the Sapporo Dome, Naoyuki Uwasawa (7-5) allowed a seven-inning run as the Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Rakuten Eagles 2-1 for their first victory after the Olympic break in Tokyo.

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