Futaki shuts out Buffaloes
The Lotte Marines moved to within a half game of the Pacific League-leading SoftBank Hawks on Monday, when Kota Futaki (4-2) threw a three-hitter in a 5-0 win over the Orix Buffaloes at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium.
The 25-year-old right-hander struck out three without issuing a walk in a 108-pitch effort. The win was Futaki’s third in three starts.
“Futaki established a real good rhythm, was very aggressive inside to their left-handed hitters and was very confident with his fastball in the strike zone,” Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi said.
“Today we wanted to be ready to hit, and we did a good job of not chasing and putting good swings on mistakes.”
Rookie cleanup hitter Hisanori Yasuda, who had three run-scoring hits in Sunday’s win over Orix, opened the scoring with a two-run third-inning double off Andrew Albers (3-6), following a one-out Leonys Martin walk and a double by Shogo Nakamura.
Solo home runs by Yudai Fujioka, Nakamura and Ikuhiro Kiyota completed the scoring.
Albers allowed all five runs over five innings.
VerHagen goes 8 to beat Eagles
Drew VerHagen (6-3) threw eight scoreless innings, and lefty Naoki Miyanishi survived a ninth-inning scare to nail down his first save as the Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Rakuten Eagles 2-1 at Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi.
Eagles starter Takahiro Shiomi (4-6) was victimized in the fourth inning, when Kensuke Kondo got the barrel on a slider low and away and it carried out to left for an opposite-field home run.
Kondo singled to open the seventh by smashing a hanging curve on the ground through the infield, becoming the Fighters’ first leadoff runner of the game. Cleanup hitter Sho Nakata followed by chopping an 0-1 slider that missed up through the infield.
Rookie right-hander Kanji Teraoka, who earned his first career win the night before, got one out before leaving a slider in the heart of the zone that Taishi Ota also smashed through the infield for an RBI single.
The Eagles’ bullpen played with fire in the top of the eighth and ninth. By stranding six runners over two innings, they kept their team in the game,.
Kazuki Tanaka homered to open the bottom of the ninth off Miyanishi, who ran the count full to the next two hitters, getting one out and giving up one single. With two outs, Miyanishi got ahead of left-handed-hitting Eigoro Mogi.
Throughout the game, umpire Masaharu Kasahara had been hesitant to call strikes low and away, and for a cross-firing side-arm lefty against a left-handed hitter, Kasahara really tried Miyanishi’s patience running the count to 2-2 after a couple of pretty close pitches. When the lefty threw another slider on the outside corner but up a little, Mogi thought he was safe only for Kasahara to ring him up and end the game.
Active roster moves 9/14/2020
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/24
Starting pitchers for Sept. 15, 2020
Fighters vs Hawks: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Lions vs Marines: MetLife Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Eagles: Hotto Motto Field 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs Tigers: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Swallows vs BayStars: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Carp vs Dragons: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT