Baseball: Swallows chase Takahashi early in the 3-2 win over Giants


Yakult Swallows pitcher Yasuhiro Ogawa (29) and shortstop Naomichi Nishiura (3) pose for photos after leading the team to a 3-2 win over the Yomiuri Giants at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo on October 5, 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – Naomichi Nishiura and Domingo Santana made consecutive solo home runs for the Central League top Yakult Swallows on Tuesday, following Yomiuri Giants starter Yuki Takahashi early in a 3-2 win.

Yakult starter Yasuhiro Ogawa (9-5) allowed two runs with six hits over six innings, hit five and went none when he beat CL victory leader Takahashi (11-7) at Jingu Stadium.

The Swallows sent Takahashi into the shower without falling fourth in the bottom quarter after Nishiura blasted his fourth home run far to the left and Santana shot # 14 over right for a 3-0 lead.

“When I was leading the inning, I definitely wanted to get to the base. With that in mind, I was able to get a home run,” said Nishiura. “It felt good to get off the racket and luckily it carried.”

Munetaka Murakami had given Yakult the lead in the third game when he was eliminated to beat Norichika Aoki in third place.

Takumi Oshiro put the Giants in fifth place with an RBI single and Hayato Sakamoto drove in another run in run six, scoring Akihiro Wakabayashi from first place with a double.

Reliever Ryuta Konno and Noboru Shimizu each threw a goalless inning for Yakult before closer Scott McGough survived a nervous ninth place with his 25th save.

With two outs and runners in second and third place, the American right-hander collected an infield grounder from Zelous Wheeler and marked it on the way to first to finish the game.

The runner-up Hanshin Tigers stayed one game after driving past DeNA BayStars 5-2 at Yokohama Stadium.

In the Vantelin Dome Nagoya, the Chunichi Dragons went away with a 4-3 win over the Hiroshima carp after Shuhei Takahashi pulled a base-loaded walk from Yasunori Kikuchi in the lower round of 16.

In the Pacific League, the first-placed Orix Buffaloes beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 9-0, with Kotaro Kurebayashi, Yuma Mune and Steven Moya meeting home runs in the Kyocera Dome Osaka.

At Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte Marines starter Ayumu Ishikawa combined the Seibu Lions 2-0 with three rescuers.

At PayPay Dome, the SoftBank Hawks and Rakuten Eagles combined 25 hits, including five home runs, in a 7-7 tie.

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