Hirano goes from goat to hero in Tigers' win
Jim Allen / Daily Yomiuri Sportswriter
NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo--Keiichi Hirano set himself up to be the goat with his bat on Sunday. He wound up as a hero with his glove.
Three poor bunts by Japan's most successful sacrifice bunter cost his team three lead runners, but the second baseman's diving stop to start a ninth-inning double play helped Hanshin seal a 1-0 victory over the Yomiuri Giants and move into second place in the Central League before Japan's biggest crowd this season. The win pushed the Tigers one game ahead of the third-place Giants.
"I had to do something after what I did [failing to bunt]," Hirano said. "It feels good to contribute to the win in the end."