Kuri’s escape artist act lifts Carp over Dragons
Allen Kuri repeatedly pitched out of trouble on Monday to work seven scoreless innings and earn the win in the Hiroshima Carp’s 6-1 Central League victory over the Chunichi Dragons at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium.
“It’s like I put runners on in every inning. Thanks to big plays by my teammates I was able to keep them off the board,” Kuri said, who twice retired Dragons No. 3 hitter Toshiki Abe to end innings with runners on.”
“Abe hit a home run off me last time, so I was really focused on him. I wasn’t going to let him get me.”
Kuri (2-2) scattered six hits and a walk while striking out seven. He went to the mound in the seventh with a 3-0 lead having thrown 101 pitches with the end of his evening in sight when the leadoff batter grounded his first pitch to third but reached on a Shota Dobayashi throwing error.
A single brought the tying run to the plate, but Kuri made his pitches and got three straight outs, the third on a diving stop by first baseman Ryuhei Matsuyama.
“I was trying to keep them off the board, but I also thought that one run wouldn’t be the worst. I’m really grateful to him (Matsuyama) for that play,” Kuri said.
Carp lefty Atsuya Horie found himself in the same spot in the eighth after a throwing error by Dobayashi and a no-out single. Dragons captain Shuhei Takahashi put a good swing on a low fastball for an RBI single, but shortstop Kosuke Tanaka made a good stop to start a double play, and Horie ended the inning with a strikeout.
Hisayoshi Chono doubled and scored in the first on a Matsuyama single. He doubled home Ryoma Nishikawa in the third to make it 2-0. A walk, a single and a passed ball made it 3-0 in the fourth, and the Carp tacked on three more runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach.
Dragons lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara (0-1) made his season debut and had trouble commanding his pitches. He allowed three runs, two earned on five hits, a walk and a hit batsman over four innings while striking out five. Trailing by a run in the second, Ogasawara had a chance to help his cause after catcher Takuya Kinoshita led off with a double, but his bunt went nowhere and the lead runner was out at third.
Reliever Yuki Kuniyoshi’s first hit in seven years, a two-run double, broke up an early tie and the DeNA BayStars held on for a 6-4 win over the Hanshin Tigers at Yokohama Stadium.
Kuniyoshi took the mound after Yuta Muto allowed a run over three innings and came out with two on and one out against Tigers lefty Yuta Iwasada.
Ramirez gambles on relief batting
Manager Alex Ramirez let reliever Yuki Kuniyoshi swing away and he delivered his first hit in seven years, a two-run double, broke up an early tie and the DeNA BayStars held on for a 6-4 win over the Hanshin Tigers at Yokohama Stadium.
Kuniyoshi took the mound in a BayStars bullpen day after Yuta Muto allowed a run over three innings and came out with two on and one out against Tigers lefty Yuta Iwasada.
“I thought of having him bunt, but I had a good feeling about him. He’s always taking batting practice, and he’s always hitting home runs, so I wanted to give it a try.” Ramirez said.
Kuniyoshi hit a first-pitch fastball from Iwasada and drove it into the gap in right.
“Just before that, coach Tsuboi (batting coach Tomochika Tsuboi) said, ‘It’s OK to swing at the first pitch.’ So, if he threw me a strike, I was going to swing at it. It’s been some years, I don’t remember how many, so I was pretty happy.”
Captain Keita Sano made it 4-1 in the fifth with his eighth home run, and Yamato Maeda, who had driven in the tying run in the first, drew a bases-loaded walk to make it a four-run game. Kuniyoshi surrendered RBI singles to Jerry Sands and Yusuke Oyama in the sixth, and closer Yasuaki Yamasaki, currently working in middle relief, gave up a run in the seventh.
Spencer Patton worked a scoreless eighth for DeNA, and Kazuki Mishima recorded his sixth save in the ninth.
Pacific League goes global
Pacific League Marketing on Monday announced its first partnership to broadcast Pacific League games in the United States through FTF (ftfnext.com). Until now, the PL has focused on cultivating its market in Taiwan, and previously had a broadcast deal in South Korea.
Games will be available via cable or streaming with live broadcasts and rebroadcasts and will include all PL games with the exception of the Climax Series playoffs. The Japan Series, whose rights are owned by Nippon Professional Baseball, are also not included.
The Central League does not have a marketing arm that can sell its games overseas, so it is up to each team to market its own rights as best it can.
Active roster moves 8/10/2020
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/20
Starting pitchers for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020
Lions vs Eagles: MetLife Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Marines vs Fighters: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Hawks vs Buffaloes: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
BayStars vs Tigers: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Carp vs Dragons: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT