Joey Meneses is on the way out at Orix, not because as misreported here a doping violation, but according to Sports Nippon story “what appears to be a severe violation of team rules,” and that his contract will be voided.
Lions 10, Swallows 6
At MetLife Dome, rookie Yakult southpaw Keiji Takahashi (0-3) walked four batters for the third straight game, allowing six runs, five earned, over 4-1/3 innings in a loss to Seibu.
Ernesto Mejia belted a two-run, fourth-inning home run and Wataru Matsumoto (1-1), Seibu’s top draft pick last autumn, allowed two runs over 5-2/3 innings.
With a 4-1 lead in the fifth, the Lions scored three runs without a hit: thanks to three walks, a hit batsman, two throwing errors and two sacrifice flies.
Swallows rookie Munetaka Murakami homered in the ninth, becoming the third player in NPB history with an 18-homer season prior to his age-20 season. The others were both Lions, Hall of Fame Nishitetsu shortstop Yasumitsu Toyoda and Seibu first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara — who would be in the Hall of Fame if it weren’t for other issues, including his arrest for drug possession.
BayStars 2, Hawks 2, 12 innings
At Yafuoku Dome, DeNA closer Yasuaki Yamasaki pitched out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the 12th inning to preserve a tie with SoftBank.
DeNA rookie Taiga Kamichatani struck out eight and gave up two runs in 7-1/3 inning. The right-hander, the BayStars’ top draft pick in 2018, surrendered the tying run on Takuya Kai’s
Homers by the BayStars’ Toshiro Miyazaki and Tomo Otosaka brought the visitors back from a run down against career minor leaguer Akira Niho, who was making his third career start and second of the season. He allowed two runs over 5-2/3 innings.
Carp 4, Eagles 2
At Rakuten Semei Park, Xavier Batista had a pair of RBI doubles, and Ryoma Nishikawa hit an 0-2 changeup headed for the dirt for a two-out, tie-breaking RBI single as Hiroshima beat Rakuten.
Takayuki Kishi (2-1) was looking for his third straight win after allowing five runs in his previous 20 innings. He pitched well, but a leadoff walk in the seventh opened the door for the luckiest of game-winning RBIs.
Kris Johnson (6-4) allowed two runs over six innings, with Jabari Blash putting the Eagles in front in the first and Zelous Wheeler manufacturing a run in the second with a walk, a steal, a sacrifice and an infield single.
Jabari Blash singled home Eigoro Mori in the first, but
Xavier Batista tied it in the top of the second with a double after Kishi
surrendered back-to-back, one-out singles.
Kishi and Johnson settled in for a siege until Carp Tubasa Aizawa doubled in the sixth and scored for the second time on a Batista double.
Geronimo Franzua worked a 1-2-3 ninth to record his second save.
Giants 7, Fighters 3
At Sapporo Dome, Tomoyuki Sugano (7-3) overcame a five-hit, three-run first inning by retiring 19 of the last 22 batters he faced over seven innings as Yomiuri came from behind to beat Nippon Ham.
Fighters starter Toshihiro Sugiura (2-2), worked a 1-2-3 first but allowed five runs on five hits and a walk in the second.
Marines 8, Dragons 7
At Zozo Marine Stadium, Daichi Suzuki sparked a six-run, ninth-inning rally with his second home run of the game, and capped it with a sayonara single as Lotte came back to beat Chunichi in dramatic fashion.
In front of their home fans, Suzuki homered of Shinji Tajima to make it 7-3 game, and Seiya Inoue and Brandon Laird walked with one out.
Raidel Martinez (0-3) gave up an RBI double to Shogo Nakamura and a two-run single to Yudai Fujioka. After a two-out single and a walk, Joely Rodriguez faced Suzuki with the bases loaded and the Dragons leading 7-6. Suzuki singled to end it.
“At the end we kept the rally going batter after batter,” Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi said. “Of course, those were the things we had utterly failed to do prior to that.”
Mike Bolsinger started for the Marines and allowed five runs over six innings.
Tigers 5, Buffaloes 5, 12 innings
At Kyocera Dome, Orix closer Hirotoshi Masui blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning by walking two batters and surrendering a two-run, two-out double to Hanshin’s Kosuke Fukudome as the two teams played to a tie, and the Buffaloes failed to win on a Sunday for the first time this year. They are 0-10 with two ties.
The Tigers trailed 5-0 after six hitless innings against lefty Daiki Tajima, Orix’s top draft pick in 2017. Tajima did well to mix his fastball and slider to keep the Tigers from making good contact.
He was making his second start of the season after winning his debut with five scoreless innings against the DeNA BayStars on June 5. Tashima was pulled after allowing a single and a walk to open the seventh.
Reliever Brandon Dickson allowed two runs on a double and a sacrifice fly. A third run scored on a ground out.
The Buffaloes broke the deadlock against Onelki Garcia in the fourth inning, when Masataka Yoshida singled, stole second and scored on Koji Oshiro’s two-out double.
The Buffaloes tacked on four runs in the fifth, when Garcia couldn’t escape a two-out, two-on jam. Yoshida singled in Kenya Wakatsuki to open the flood gates. After Stefen Romero reached on an error, Keita Nakagawa and Oshiro each delivered RBI singles.
The Buffaloes were going for their seventh series sweep of the Tigers since interleague play began in 2005. Of the 10 Kansai derby sweeps, the Tigers four between 2005 and 2009, while the Buffaloes have all five since.
More injury woes: Hawks deactivate closer Mori
The Nikkan Sports reported Sunday that the SoftBank Hawks are deactivating closer Yuito Mori due to stiffness in his upper arm. Mori has been standing in for Dennis Sarfate since April 2018.
Sarfate appeared ready to rejoin the first team this season, but continuing fitness issues have seen him spending the season to this point at the club’s minor league facility in Chikugo, Fukuoka Prefecture.
Mori has 19 saves this season, but it has often been a struggle, as it was on Saturday, when he barely managed a three-run save.
Before Sunday’s game against the DeNA BayStars he said, “It felt differently than it always does. It was simply tough. I want to take care of business as best I can (on the farm) so I can get back as quickly as possible.”
Manager Kimiyasu Kudo said, “He had discomfort, so we’re treating it carefully and deactivating him. It’s really rare for him to say he’s having discomfort.”
He’ll be replaced on the roster by 27-year-old Ren Kajiya.