Fri, Jul 02, 2004 - Page 22 News List

Dragons overcome BayStars to extend seven game streak

AP , TOKYO

Catcher Motonobu Tanishige homered in a four-run, first inning Tuesday as the Central League-leading Chunichi Dragons routed the Yokohama BayStars 7-2 to extend their winning streak to seven in Japanese professional baseball action.

It was Nagoya-based Chunichi's first seven-winning streak since May in 2002. Tuesday's victory in Fukui Stadium widened the Dragons' lead by five games over the Yomiuri Giants, who lost to the Hanshin Tigers 8-5.

Tanishige's 13th homer -- a three-run shot in the bottom of the first -- was off Ken Takahashi, who was roughed up by seven runs on seven hits over 2-1/3 innings. Domingo Guzman, formerly of Taiwan's China Trust Whales, improved to 5-2 after striking out six while allowing two runs on eight hits over seven innings. Takahashi's record fell to 3-6.

Andy Sheets, formerly of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, belted a pair of solo homers for the Hiroshima in a losing cause.

At Koshien Stadium, sluggers Tomoki Kanemoto and infielder Makoto Imaoka each homered to power the Hanshin Tigers to an 8-5 win over the Yomiuri Giants. Kanemoto hit his 17th homer -- a two-run blast in the first inning, and Imaoka connected for his 17th homer -- a solo shot in the fifth, both off Yomiuri starter Masumi Kuwata.

Naohisa Sugiyama picked up the win after allowing three runs on three hits while striking out five over five innings, while Kuwata gave up five runs on seven hits while walking three to take the loss over 4-1/3 innings.

Elsewhere, Alex Ramirez connected for a three-run homer in the first inning, pinch hitter Katsuyuki Dobashi and catcher Atsuya Furuta each hit a solo homer, leading the Yakukult Swallows to a 8-4 win over the Yokohama BayStars in Sendai.

In Yahoo BB Stadium, Makoto Shiozaki and Yoshitomo Tani each had two RBIs, including a solo homer, helping the Orix BlueWave' s first win in 10 games against the Pacific League front-running Daiei Hawks at 9-6.

With the win, the Daiei leads the league by two games over Seibu.

Shiozaki and Tani homered in a three-run, fifth inning, when the Orix took a 5-2 lead before adding one run in the six and three more runs in the eighth.

At Seibu Dome, Kazuhiro Wada hit a bases-loaded single to center in the 10th inning and Daisuke Matuzaka went the distance for his second straight-game shutout win as the Seibu Lions won a 1-0 walkoff victory over the Kintetsu Buffaloes.

Matsuzaka improved to 6-5 after yielding five hits and walking one while striking out five over 10 innings. Katsunari Yoshikawa, coming on in relief in the last inning, took the loss after giving up one run on two hits while allowing two walks.

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