Former ace Utsumi earns 1st win for Lions
Tetsuya Utsumi (1-1) worked five scoreless innings to earn his first win since August 2018 as the Seibu Lions beat the Lotte Marines 4-2 at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old lefty, acquired by Seibu as part of the compensation they received after the Yomiuri Giants signed free agent catcher Ginjiro Sumitani, allowed two hits and two walks while striking out six with a fastball that doesn’t touch 87 mph.
“Frankly, I’m happy with this,” Utsumi said. “I was only able to pitch five innings, and I am grateful to the batters for getting me some runs and to the relievers who picked up the slack for me.”
Marines lefty Kazuya Odajima (4-5) allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and three walks over seven innings. He struck out six.
One inning after left fielder Tsuyoshi Sugano prevented the Lions from taking the lead in the top of the fifth inning with a one-hop strike to the plate, the visitors opened the scoring on a throwing error.
Shuta Tonosaki set up the run with a bunt single and a stolen base. With one out and two on, Tonosaki tagged up on a fly to right and Leonys Martin ended up in the camera pit beyond the third-base dugout.
The Marines got both of their hits off Utsumi with two outs in the fifth before the lefty made his exit. Ryosuke Moriwake struck out the side for the Lions in the sixth, and Fumikazu Kimura homered to lead off the seventh.
From that point, the game became a walkathon, with the Marines making the most charitable contributions. Seibu’s Kaima Taira allowed a run in the seventh on a single and three walks.
He was no match, however, for Marines right-hander Yusuke Azuma in the eighth. After Takumi Kuriyama’s leadoff walk and a sacrifice, the Marines ordered first base filled with an intentional walk. Three walks later it was 4-1. The Marines tacked on one run against closer Tatsushi Masuda in the ninth before he nailed down his 15th save.
Buffaloes come back to tie Hawks
SoftBank Hawks closer Yuito Mori blew a two-run ninth-inning lead as the Orix Buffaloes tied it on Ryoichi Adachi’s two-out two-run single and closer Brandon Dickson worked a scoreless 10th before the teams finished in a 10-inning 2-2 tie at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.
Trailing 3-1 in the ninth, Mori surrendered back-to-back no-out singles by Shuhei Fukuda and Yutaro Sugimoto. A stolen bases by Fukuda and pinch-runner Kodai Sano, and an intentional walk to Masataka Yoshida, gave Adam Jones a chance to win it with one out. He popped out to short before Adachi’s sharp ground single to left tied it.
The Hawks got the leadoff hitter on in the 10th but he was doubled off first by Buffaloes closer Brandon Dickson after he caught Nobuhiro Matsuda’s bunt attempt on the fly.
Tsuyoshi Wada allowed a run on four hits over six-plus innings for the Hawks, Yurisbel Gracial cracked a tie-breaking two-run home run, and reliever Yuki Matsumoto bailed Wada out of a seventh inning jam after entering with two on and no outs. Livan Moinelo worked a 1-2-3 eighth before the Buffaloes came back.
The Hawks opened the scoring on the second pitch of the game as Keizo Kawashima homered off lefty Daiki Tajima. The Buffaloes, however, tied it after Fukuda’s flare dropped for a leadoff single. A groundout put him on second and when Wada left a 3-2 pitch up in the zone, Yoshida smashed it for a two-out RBI single. The hit extended Yoshida’s batting streak to 20 games.
Yuya Iida acquired over the weekend in a trade from the Hanshin Tigers, worked a scoreless eighth for the Buffaloes against the Hawks, his first pro team.
Eagles claw back against Akiyoshi
The Rakuten Eagles left it till late, scoring five runs in the ninth off Nippon Ham Fighters closer Ryo Akiyoshi (1-2) in their 5-3 win at Sapporo Dome.
The victory took starter Hideaki Wakui off the hook for the loss. The 34-year-old right-hander had allowed three runs, all on Sho Nakata’s Japan-best 22nd home run in the fifth. Fighters starter Kenta Uehara worked five innings, while right-hander Nick Martinez relieved him in the sixth in a one-inning relief cameo.
Alan Busenitz worked a scoreless ninth for the Eagles to earn his eighth save.
Sanchez, Giants hold off BayStars
Angel Sanchez (4-2), pitching for the first time since being sidelined on July 25 for shoulder discomfort, allowed a run over six innings in the Yomiuri Giants’ 3-1 win over the DeNA BayStars at Tokyo Dome.
The 30-year-old right-hander allowed one hit and three walks while striking out six in a 91-pitch outing.
The Giants scored all their runs off lefty Haruhiro Hamaguchi (3-4) in the second inning. Yoshihiro Maru, who went 2-for-2 with two walks, hit his 14th home run with one out and none on. Hiroyuki Nakajima walked, Naoki Yoshikawa tripled him home and scored on a groundout.
Giants manager Tatsunori Hara used four relievers to cover two innings before Rubby De La Rosa pitched a perfect ninth to earn his eighth save.
Swallows overcome another Sands homer
Tetsuto Yamada drove in two runs, including one on a 10th-inning sacrifice fly as the Yakult Swallows eked out a 3-2 win over the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium.
Hanshin’s Jerry Sands homered for the second-straight night. His two-run homer tied it in the seventh against submarine righty Fumihiro Yamanaka, who struck out six and allowed four hits over six-plus innings.
Aizawa slams Carp past Dragons
Hiroshima Carp catcher Tsubasa Aizawa hit a fourth-inning grand slam in a 9-5 win over the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome.
The Carp opened the scoring in the first on back-to-back home runs by Jose Pirela and Ryosuke Kikuchi. Aizawa’s homer made it 6-0, before the hosts chased Carp starter Yusuke Nomura (4-1) in a five-run sixth. Dragons lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara (1-3) took the loss.
Active roster moves 9/2/2020
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/12
Starting pitchers for Sept. 3, 2020
Fighters vs Eagles: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Marines vs Lions: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Hawks: Kyocera Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs BayStars: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Dragons vs Carp: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Tigers vs Swallows: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT