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04/02/2003 Archived Entry: "Japanese Baseball News: Rhodes Yardwork Cultivates a Win for Kintetsu"

Rhodes Three Run Homer Highlights Winning Five Run Kintetsu Rally

Kintetsu Buffaloes leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes jackhammered one into the rightcenterfield seats in the seventh inning for a three run homer that lent his side some separation from the Orix Blue Wave at Osaka Dome Sunday in an 8-3 win. Orix starter Hisashi Ogura went just a little further than what he could handle over the course of his 124 pitches in 6.1 innings in which he was, at the end of the day, charged with five runs, four earned.

Katsuhiko Maekawa had what is easily his best outing in almost a year for the Buffs, limiting the Kobe nine's attack to two runs on six hits in seven innings in an economical 83 pitches.

The blue crew staged a brief two out rally in the first, as leftfielder Roosevelt Brown thumped a shot off the centerfield wall for a double and first baseman Scott Sheldon pinged one off the leftfield fence for an RBI double and a 1-0 advantage.

Kintetsu responded in kind in the bottom of the frame when second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi walked with one away and, one out later, so did third baseman Norihiro Nakamura. Rightfielder Koichi Isobe lined a double to rightcenter to bring Mizuguchi in and it was a standoff at 1-1.

The Buffs got a break in the third when centerfielder Naoyuki Omura grounded to first and Sheldon muffed it. Omura was sacrificed to second and then strove for home when Rhodes broke his bat on a forkball but still muscled it into right for an RBI knock to make it 2-1.

Orix third baseman Jose Ortiz answered by pulling the trigger on a second pitch fastball and socking it into the leftfield bleachers to even it again at 2-2.

Ogura struckout the side in the fourth, but catcher Fumitoshi Suzuki bigtimed one into the leftfield stands and Kintetsu was back at the front of the line at 3-2. Ogura was touched for two more singles and was clearly running out of gas even with a 1-2-3 sixth, but Orix headman Hiromichi Ishige threw him to the wolves in the seventh and saw his starter get munched.

With one out, Omura singled to right. Mizuguchi walked. Yoshihiro Kase was summoned from the bullpen to deal with Rhodes. The count went to 3-2 before the former Cub got an 84mph cookie and roasted it into the seats to widen it to 6-2. Hisashi Tokano was called in and he induced a ground ball to Ortiz from Nakamura, who booted it. Isobe walked. One out later, DH Kenshi Kawaguchi walked to fill the bases. Shortstop Osamu Hoshino walked and Nakamura padded in. Then there was a fielder's choice where the runner was safe and Kawaguchi crossed for an 8-2 lead.

Orix scored a run off of Takuya Matsumoto in the ninth off of a walk to Jose Ortiz, single to right by rightfielder Ikurao Katsuragi, and a wild pitch that enabled Ortiz to run in and make it 8-3. Hideo Koike supplanted Matsumoto and he was done up for a single to right. Nashida went to the pen again for Ken Kadokura, who was elevated from the minors when closer Motoyuki Akahori injured himself. He struckout Yuji Goshima and got a flyout to left from Takeshi Hidaka and a grounder to second by centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani to send the home crowd away happy.

Kadokura was clocked at 91mph.

Makoto Suzuki willmake a minor league start on April 1st.

For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 3-5 with four RBIs and is at .615.

For Orix, Brown was 2-4 and is at .273. Sheldon was 1-4 with an RBI and an error and is at .333. Ortiz was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .300.

Pitching Lines:


H. Ogura (L, 0-1) IP 6.1 BF 29 PC 124 H 6 HR 1 K 10 BB 4 R 5 ER 4 ERA 5.68
Kase IP 1.0 BF 1 PC 6 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 27.00
Tokano IP 0.1 BF 6 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 3 R 2 ER 0 ERA 0.00
T. Yamamoto IP 0.2 BF 3 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Imamura IP 0.2 BF 2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 16.20


Maekawa (W, 0-1) IP 7.0 BF 28 PC 83 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.57
Teramura IP 1.0 BF 3 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
T. Matsumoto IP 0.0 BF 2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA infinity
H. Koike IP 0.0 BF 1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kadokura IP 1.0 BF 3 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00

E: Sheldon, Ortiz
2B: Brown, Sheldon, Isobe, M. Shiozaki
HR: Ortiz (2), F. Suzuki (1), Rhodes (1)
RBI: Sheldon, Ortiz, Katsuragi, Rhodes 4, Isobe, O. Hoshino, F. Suzuki
WP: Maekawa, Tokano, T. Matsumoto
HBP: K. Kawaguchi (H. Ogura), Hidaka (Maekawa)
GIDP: Sheldon, Tani
LOB: Orix 7, Kintetsu 9

Season Series: Orix 0, Kintetsu 3

Game Time: 3:28
Attendance: 21,000
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Tamba (1B), Higashi (2B), Nagami (3B)

Team Reports

Yomiuri Kazuhiro Kiyohara made another minor league rehab start Sunday and went 0-2 and handled a ground ball with no problem. He said that he still feels a little discomfort in his hamstring but that it's nothing to worry about.

Hiroshima Infielder Kenjiro Nomura is out with an oblique muscle injury.

Hideki Matsui Kevin Baxter at the Miami Herald has the following quote by Matsui: 'Being in Japan, it was hard to realize, but now that I've come here I can better understand the foreign players that come to Japan and what they experience,."

Koshien Tournament Toyodai Himeiji High School advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in 24 years when it got a one hit, 15 strikeout complete game shutout from Vietnamese-Japanese lefty Kwen Tran Phuoc An against Naruto Kogyo High School Sunday in a 3-0 victory. The only knock that An allowed was a bad hop single in the fifth inning....Still fighting an oblique muscle strain, Tohoku High School's Yu Darvish displayed diminished velocity and stagnant breaking stuff in getting lit up by Hanasaki Tokuei High School in a dramatic 10-9 loss that was decided on a bases loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Hanasaki got behind 5-0 early on, but then rallied to tie it up and then prevailed at the end. This was Hanasaki's second straight sayonara win....Ichiro's alma mater, Aiko Meiden High School, had their Koshien title hopes dashed when they absorbed a 4-0 loss to Omi High School Sunday to get to their first ever quarterfinal.

Today's Pictures

Norihiro Akahoshi Bunts for a Hit

Kazuo Matsui Steals Home

And Trey Hillman Comes OUt to Argue the Call

Roberto Petagine Hooks a Big One

Kwen Tran Phuoc An About to Deliver to the Plate

George Arias Laces a Double

Ivan Cruz Clouts One into the Seats

Nobuhiko Matsunaka Thwacks One into the Great Wide Open

Slowing Ichiro a Dirty Job

See story at: San Jose Mercury News Article

Bergman Back from Osaka Hoping to Find MLB Job

See story at: Albuquerque Tribune Article

Jays Ad Asks Fans to Boo Matsui

See story at: NY Daily News Article

Matsui May be One of Year's Strongest Storylines

See story at: Toronto Sun Article

Matsui and Ichiro

I'd like to know what this guy's sources are for a couple of those quotes. And the Yankees "clean cut and pleasant" Has this guy been paying attention? This is the team that keeps giving jobs to pinhead fat slobs (David Wells), cocaine addicts (Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden) and a borderline psycho alcoholic (Billy Martin). Sheesh. See story at: Calgary Sun Article

Matsui and the Cutter

See story at: San Jose Mercury News Article

Going Going Global

See story at: Parsippany Daily Record

Korea's Boys of Summer Return

See story at: Korea Time sArticle

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