Baseball: Aoyagi takes the Tigers to 5,500. victory of the franchise

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Koyo Aoyagi of the Hanshin Tigers serves against the DeNA BayStars in a Central League baseball game at Koshien Stadium on July 22, 2022 in Nishinomiya, western Japan. (kyodo)

NISHINOMIYA, Japan (Kyodo) — Koyo Aoyagi allowed a six-inning run on Friday to lead the Hanshin Tigers to a 6-3 Central League win over the DeNA BayStars, making the franchise Japan’s third-biggest 5,500 wins scored

At the Tigers’ historic Koshien Stadium outside of Osaka, Aoyagi (11-1) allowed five goals and two walks while hitting two in the game that was also captain Akihiro Yano’s 250th win in fourth year.

Two runs from Yusuke Oyama and Teruaki Sato and a two-run double from Aderlin Rodriguez on his Champions League debut provided the support the Tigers needed to bounce back from a one-run deficit.

Hanshin was one of the founding members of Japan’s first professional league and celebrated its first win on April 29, 1936. CL’s Yomiuri Giants and Pacific League’s SoftBank Hawks are the other two teams to have reached 5,500 wins.

The Tigers are fourth in the CL, a half game behind third-placed BayStars, who are a half-game behind second-placed Hiroshima Carp.

The Carp advanced to Yakult after a 5-2 win over the Swallows in 11 games. Shogo Akiyama, who recently returned to Japan after more than two seasons in the United States, won in a 4-on-4 win with a tied home run in the eighth inning.

In the PL, the league-leading Hawks defeated the Orix Buffaloes 7-5, while the second-placed Seibu Lions were a game behind with a 9-4 win over the Rakuten Eagles.

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