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Fujikawa falters, surrenders first lead-changing homer of his career

by on Sep.12, 2010 @ 4:20 am, under NPB

Kyuji Fujikawa (HAN) gave up his first ever lead-changing homer of his career yesterday.

The Tigers inserted Fujikawa into yesterday afternoon's game in the 8th inning for the third time in 5 days (he tossed two shutout innings on 9/7 and two shutout innings on 9/9, a total of 72 pitches over both appearances) with the hopes that he would hold off the Swallows over the final two innings of the game.  But that was not meant to be.

Fujikawa entered the game and hit the first batter he faced and gave up single Norichika Aoki to put runners on first and second.  A sac bunt later, with runners on second and third, the Swallows managed to push across their first run of the game on a ground out to second.  Josh Whitesell was up next and looked a little late on his first swing (he took a big healthy cut), but shortened it and drilled the next pitch he saw from Fujikawa over the left field fence for a lead-changing, 2-run homer.  Fujikawa got the next batter to pop out to short to end the inning, but the damage was already done.

For Fujikawa, it was the first time he gave up 3 runs in an inning since 6/8/2005 (vs Orix).  It was also the first time he ever gave up a lead-changing homer in his career.

The Swallows hung on to beat the Tigers 3-2.