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Kanemoto's record streak grinds to halt
YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Hanshin Tigers outfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto had his Japanese baseball record streak of playing in consecutive games without missing an inning halted at 1,492 when he was left out of the starting lineup in the Tigers' 8-4 win over the Yokohama BayStars on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Kanemoto, whose streak began on July 21, 1999, is batting .167 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 18 games after sustaining a right shoulder injury before the start of the season.
"I offered to leave the starting lineup because I want the team to win," the 11-time All-Star player said.
"When I'm in a bad condition like this, I know I only cause the team trouble. As the last resort, I thought about taping my injuries so that I could continue to play. But I just couldn't do it."

In place of Kanemoto on Sunday, Takahiro Arai batted in the cleanup spot while Ikuro Katsuragi played left field. Kanemoto grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth.

Former Baltimore Orioles star Cal Ripken Jr. holds the major league record for most consecutive games played with 2,632.

During that span, he played 903 consecutive games without missing an inning.

For the Tigers, Craig Brazell went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs as the team pounded out 15 hits in a comeback triumph.
Kodai Sakurai's RBI single closed the gap to one run in the sixth inning and Brazell connected for a three-run blast to right-center off Kentaro Kuwahara (1-1) for a 6-4 lead two innings later.
Brazell and Sakurai had back-to-back RBI doubles with two outs in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2 before Daisuke Hayakawa hit a two-run homer in the fifth for Yokohama.
Arai and Kenji Johjima added a run each with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, respectively, in the ninth. Ken Nishimura (2-0) won in relief.

Kanemoto ends iron man streak
YOKOHAMA--While Tomoaki Kanemoto finally took a day off--well, most of it anyway--it was business as usual for his Hanshin Tigers teammate Craig Brazell.

On a day that saw a little baseball history made as Kanemoto's NPB record consecutive-game streak without missing an inning ended at 1,492, Brazell jacked an eighth-inning three-run homer out of ballyard as the Tigers doubled up on the BayStars 8-4 at Yokohama Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

"In that situation I was just looking to get the ball up in the air," said Brazell, who also had a pair of doubles on the day and drove in four runs. "I wasn't going up there thinking home run, but I was able to get it out of the ballpark."

With Takashi Toritani and Kenji Jojima on base after a walk and a single, Brazell crushed a Kentaro Kuwahara pitch on the outer half of the plate, sending it over the bleachers in right-center field onto a tree-lined walkway.

"I guess the wind was blowing right today," said Brazell of his monster shot, his seventh home run of the season.

Kodai Sakurai also had three hits for Hanshin, driving in a pair of runs, and Ken Nishimura (2-0) got the win, working one scoreless inning in relief.

Starter Yuya Ando went five-plus innings for the Tigers, allowing four runs on seven hits. Tomoyuki Kubota was credited with a hold after working a scoreless eighth and closer Kyuji Fujikawa pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to finish it off.

Daisuke Hayakawa drove in all four runs for the home team. Hayakawa, who moved to Yokohama from the Lotte Marines during the offseason, was 3-for-4 at the dish. His two-run single put the Stars up 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning and he nailed a two-run homer to right off Ando in the bottom of the fifth to give Yokohama a 4-2 lead.

A Sakurai RBI single up the middle in the top of the sixth scored Brazell from second to make it a 4-3 game before Brazell went deep in the eighth to put Hanshin ahead for good. In the ninth, Takahiro Arai drove in a run with a bloop RBI single to right and Jojima hit a sacrifice fly to left to cap the scoring.

Kuwahara (1-1) took the loss. He gave up three runs on three hits and walk in one-third of an inning. Yokohama veteran Daisuke Miura got the start Sunday, giving up three runs on eight hits over six frames.

The biggest news of the day, however, came before the game when Tigers skipper Akinobu Mayumi handed in his lineup card. For the first time since July 1, 1999, when he was with the Hiroshima Carp, 42-year-old veteran outfielder Kanemoto's name was absent from the starting lineup.

Kanemoto, whose right shoulder has been bothering him all season, did make a pinch-hit appearance Sunday, grounding out to second in the eighth inning as his batting average dropped to .164.

"He's been a fixture in this lineup for a long time, and some other lineups as well," said Brazell, referring to Kanemoto's streak. "He's been at it since before I even started playing baseball. He's been a great player for a long time and he's still great. He's got some good baseball left in him."

Kanemoto's inning streak ends
For the first time in more than a decade, Tomoaki Kanemoto missed an inning of a game.

The Hanshin Tigers ironman's streak of playing in every inning of 1,492 consecutive games ended when he was scratched from the lineup of Sunday's game against the Yokohama BayStars at Yokohama Stadium.

Kanemoto, who has been slowed by a sore right shoulder, appeared in the game--which the Tigers won 8-4--as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, extending his consecutive game streak to 1,638.

"I thought this was the best thing for the team," said Kanemoto, who asked to be left out of the lineup.

The 42-year-old Kanemoto had played in every inning of every game since July 21, 1999, when he was with the Hiroshima Carp. The outfielder is struggling with a .167 average, although he has three homers and 12 RBIs in 19 games.

In 2006, Kanemoto passed Cal Ripken Jr.'s major league record of 903 full consecutive games played. Ripken holds the consecutive game record with 2,632.

Takahiro Arai--a former teammate of Kanemoto's on the Carp--replaced him Sunday in the cleanup spot, marking the first time Kanemoto had not batted fourth in the Tigers lineup since October 2003.

In the game, Craig Brazell went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead a 15-hit Hanshin attack.

(Apr. 19, 2010)

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