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Hanshin Tigers 10 Hiroshima Carp 4 (13 hits to 12)

(Koshien Stadium)

Matt Murton has done it again,  smashing a Grand Slam home run into the stands in the eighth innings with style and panache to propel the Tigers to what looks at the final score to have been an easy victory. Murton was the hero of the last Chunichi game, getting two base hits, a two-base hit, and a home run for 4 hits from 5 at plates. Today he was quiet for his first four plate appearances, before hitting when it truly mattered.

Fossum Falters Before Murton Magic

Things started well for the Tigers, with a grand slam home run from Johjima in the first giving us a 4-0 lead. Another was added in the third for 5-0. The Carp got back into it in the fifth, when a succession of hits got them 4 runs before the faltering Fossum was replaced by Watanabe. In the eighth a Kurihara two-run home run off Kubota gave the Carp a shock 6-5 lead, and it looked like the game had run away from us. But then came an ascendant eighth– Johjima and Brazell got hits, and a Sakurai ground out advanced them to second and third bases. Kanoh was walked to load the bases. Yano got a base hit, getting a runner home for 6-6. Then came Murton, who smashed a hit to centre field, just clearing the barrier for a grand slam Tigers victory! We still had the ninth, but Mayumi didn’t take any chances, sending out Fujikawa who did the business.

A great win that showed character all round. Hirano got 3 hits- he really is playing well at the moment- but once again the plaudits must go to Murton in the main. He is a truly integral part of this team, and the man of the moment.

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