Wed, Jul 21, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Dragons surprise Giants following hits by Tatsunami

AP , TOKYO

Kazuyoshi Tatsunami drove in two runs with a pair of doubles Monday to help the Central League-leading Chunichi Dragons to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Yomiuri Giants.

With the victory, the Chunichi opened up its lead by 3-1/2 games over the Giants.

Trailing a two-run deficit, the Chunichi turned the tables in the fourth inning, when the Dragons scored three runs on back-to-back doubles by Tatsunami. Kosuke Fukudome and Alex Ochoa, making it 3-2. Tatsunami also drove in the winning run with a double in the seventh inning.

Kenshin Kawakami (9-6) picked up the win after giving up two runs on 10 hits while striking out five.

Tuffy Rhodes, who tied Japan's single-season home run record of 55 in 2001, belted a two-run homer off Kawakami in the third inning.

At Yokohma Stadium, infielder Makoto Imaoka and outfielder Shinjiro Hiyama both homered in the eighth inning as the Hanshin Tigers scored four runs in the eighth inning to lift the Hanshin Tigers to a 5-1 come-from-behind win over the Yokohama BayStars.

It was Imaoka's 18th homer this season and the ninth for Hiyama, with both at the sacrifice of Yokohama starter Daisuke Miura (5-3), who took the loss after allowing four runs on 10 hits while striking out five over 7-1/3 innings.

Masaji Sajikihara, who came in the seventh and pitched a scoreless relief of one inning for the Hanshin, picked up the win.

At Jingu Stadium, Alex Ramirez went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs to lift the Yakult Swallows to a 7-2 win over the Hiroshima Carp.

Ramirez, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates, hit back-to-back singles in fourth and fifth innings before hitting a two-run double in the seventh to help Yakult snap its losing streak at five.

In the Pacific League, Fernado Seguignol drove in a winning run with bases-loaded sacrifice fly deep into right to cap a two-run, eighth inning rally to lift the Nippon Ham Fighters over the Seibu Lions at Sapporo Dome.

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