- Eagles vs Lions, postponed, rain
Fukutani bats, pitches Dragons to victory
Right-hander Koji Fukutani, a former first-round pick who spent his first six pro seasons as a reliever, allowed two runs over six innings and doubled in the go-ahead run for the Chunichi Dragons in their 3-2 win over the Yomiuri Giants at Nagoya Dome.
Fukutani (6-2) allowed six hits but no walks while striking out two, came up in the second with the game tied 2-2 after Toshiki Abe’s 10th homer of the season. Catcher Takuya Kinoshita walked, and Fukutani doubled him home.
“He is a good hitter,” Dragons manager Tsuyoshi Yoda said of Fukutani, whose first career double improved his career batting to 3-for-21. “He was really working hard before the game in BP.”
Fukutani said he went up looking for a first-pitch fastball from Toshiki Sakurai (2-4).
“I was looking for one but I didn’t imagine I was going to hit it,” Fukutani said of an inside-out swing that drove a low pitch into the gap in right-center. “I’ve been swinging the bat a lot recently, but I was beginning to think I was incapable of squaring a pitch up.”
“The instant I hit, I felt, ‘I’ve never hit a ball so well in my life.'”
The right-hander surrendered back-to-back hits in the Giants’ third, but got a double play to defuse the would-be rally. Zoilo Almonte prevented the Giants from tying it in the sixth when he robbed Yoshihiro Maru of a two-out RBI double in left.
“The way Almonte and (second baseman) Abe were picking it today, gave me courage. They made me feel that all I had to do was make my pitches and things were going to work out,” Fukutani said.
Lefty Hiroto Fuku, and right-handers Daisuke Sobue and Raidel Martinez protected the lead over the final three innings, with Martinez turning in an electrifying ninth as he struck out three and walked one to earn his 18th save.
Active roster moves 10/12/2020
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/22
Starting pitchers for Oct. 13, 2020
Fighters vs Lions: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Hawks: Kyocera Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs Carp: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Swallows vs BayStars: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Dragons vs Tigers: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT