Baseball: Dragons end Yakult’s 8-game winning streak on walkoff

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Taiki Mitsumata of the Chunichi Dragons hits a walk-off single in the 10th inning of a Central League game against the Yakult Swallows at Vantelin Dome in Nagoya on June 21, 2022. (kyodo)

NAGOYA (Kyodo) — Taiki Mitsumata drove the 10th inning walk-off as the Chunichi Dragons came from behind to beat the Yakult Swallows 2-1 on Tuesday, ending the leading club’s eight-game winning streak of the Central League.

Singles from Ariel Martinez and Hayato Mizowaki on either side of an intentional walk by Ryuta Konno (1-1) loaded the bases before Mitsumata hit to the left with two outs ahead of Schwalben’s third pitcher Kazuto Taguchi at the Vantelin Dome Nagoya.

In a pitching duel, Yakult starter Yasuhiro Ogawa allowed his first batter a single but none until the eighth. Home team starter Shinnosuke Ogasawara gave up the opening run in the third when Jose Osuna went deep for a solo run.

Ogasawara regrouped to play eight innings, giving up three hits and two walks and knocking out nine, and Chunichi finally came on running support to tie things down in the bottom of the frame.

A walk and single left runners in the corners with no outs and a pinch hit Mizowaki, despite finishing in second place for a double play, did the least he asked by overtaking the tie run.

Ogawa pitched nine innings, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out six, but his assists failed to deliver in the 10th inning. Raidel Martinez and Yariel Rodriguez (3-2) each pitched a scoreless inning for the Dragons.

The Hiroshima Carp defeated the Hanshin Tigers 5-3 to end their five-game slide while the DeNA BayStars defeated the Yomiuri Giants 3-1.

In the Pacific League, Seibu Lions beat Lotte Marines 3-0 and Rakuten Eagles defeated Nippon Ham Fighters by the same score. The Orix Buffaloes defeated the PL leaders SoftBank Hawks 4-3.

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