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CL News and Notes: Masahiko Morino blasts Dragons’ 8,000th franchise homer

by on Jul.14, 2011 @ 12:05 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Masahiko Morino's homer in the top of the 9th (a 2-run homer that tied the game at 5) made the Dragons the third team in the NPB to hit 8,000 homers -- behind the Yomiuri Giant (9,226) and the Seibu Lions (8,039).

Hanshin Tigers

Shinjiro Hiyama recorded his 88th pinch-hit RBI last night, good for a 6th tie on the Central League's All-time list.  It was also Hiyama's 5th walk-off "hit" of his career (it was actually a walk-off sac fly, which is a first for him).


Takahiro Arai has hit safely in 4 straight and is 6-for-15 over that time.


Tomoaki Kanemoto nailed his 421st career double in the 2nd inning of yeterday's game against the Yomiuri Giants and moved into sole possession of 5th on the All-time list.


Naoto Tsuru pitched well last night (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 SO, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 ER), but will likely be demoted today since the Tigers don't have an immediate need for himKosuke Kato will probably be called up to help bolster the bullpen from the left-side.


Owner Shinya Sakai has brought the Tigers some luck: with him in the stands, they have won 7 in a row.


Kai-Wen Cheng joined the Ichi-gun roster during pre-game practice yesterday and worked out with the other starters.


Yasutomo Kubo started a Ni-gun game against Orix yesterday and gave up 3 runs (including a solo homer in the 2nd) on 6 hits over 5 innings of work.  He also threw 97 pitches and topped out at 144km/h.  The outing has earned Kubo a return to the active roster for a possible start on the 19th against the Hiroshima Carp (Mazda Stadium).

Yomiuri Giants

General pitching coach Kazuhisa Kawaguchi told reporters the team will continue to use Shun Tono as a reliever despite the fact that he gave up a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 9th last night.

"There's no point in being pessimistic," said Yamaguchi.  "If we're going to do this, we're going to see it through to the end.  We'll continue to use him [as a reliever]."


Michihiro Ogasawara started last night's game from the bench.  Nikkan Sports notes that it was a first time since 6/27/2010 (vs Yokohama), while Sponichi says that it was a first for Ogasawara since he joined the Giants in 2007 (at least for reasons not related to injury or games that didn't really matter).


The Giants announced that they'll launch a total 280 fireworks over two games in Niigata on the 19th and 20th (vs Chunichi).  The fireworks will be launched after the 5th inning, out toward left.

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows are now 4-0-3 in extra inning games so far this year.  They are also 8-0-1 in games that Kazuhiro Hatakeyama homers in.