Tanishige Turns Back Clock, Lifts Dragons

Tanishige turns back clock, lifts DragonsChunichi Dragons player-manager Motonobu Tanishige put himself back into the starting lineup, and made himself look like a genius.
The 44-year-old Tanishige, who had been hitless this season, went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer to power the Dragons to a 9-2 victory over the Hanshin Tigers on Monday afternoon at Koshien Stadium.

Yudai Ono (3-1) and two relievers held the Tigers to four hits as the Dragons moved back to the .500 mark behind a 16-hit attack led by Tanishige.

Going into the game, Tanishige had not contributed at all offensively — he was 0-for-9 with three strikeouts in 10 games.

With the Dragons up 1-0, Tanishige singled to lead off the third inning for his first hit of the season, then scored on Yohei Oshima’s double. Ryosuke Hirata singled to make it 3-0.

Tanishige stunned the fans at Koshien Stadium in the fourth inning off with a three-run homer off Hanshin starter Randy Messenger (2-4) to give the Dragons a 6-0 lead. That shot, the 229th of his career, also extended his own record by giving him at least one home run in 27 consecutive seasons.

Tanishige singled again in the sixth inning, then capped the day with a double down the left field line in the eighth.

His last start came on April 30 against the Yomiuri Giants, which was the milestone 3,000th of a pro career that dates back to 1989. Second on the all-time list, he is now 15 away from Katsuya Nomura’s Japan pro record of 3,017.