Yamamoto finally beats Senga
Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto escaped a first-inning jam to work seven innings in a 5-0 win over SoftBank Hawks ace Kodai Senga on Tuesday at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.
Masataka Yoshida singled in two runs in the sixth for the hosts and double in another in the seventh.
Yamamoto (4-2) walked five batters and struck out seven while allowing two hits. He threw 114 pitches, but 35 of those in the first inning, when he walked the bases loaded and got lucky when Yuki Yanagita just missed a hanging slider with one on and no outs, only managing to drive it to the warning track.
The right-hander brought his bread-and-butter four-seam fastball, but also had good command of his curve and slider, giving those pitches more extensive workouts than he usually does. The win was Yamamoto’s first since the middle of July.
“He (Yamamoto) didn’t pitch the same way he usually does. Whether it was because he went to his breaking pitches more or not, I don’t know, but he pitched really well.”–SoftBank Hawks manager Kimiyasu Kudo
“I’ve been going through a long stretch where I’ve not been very good,” Yamamoto said. “I’d already lost twice to him, so I wanted to do what I could to not do that again.”
“Senga pitched really well, and even though I walked all those batters in the first I was able to regroup. Even though I hadn’t been pulling my weight, my teammates never got down on me. I have them to thank for having my back.”
Senga (5-3) allowed four runs on five hits and six walks over 6-2/3 innings while striking out six. The Buffaloes broke the deadlock against him in the sixth, when he issued two walks and Keita Nakagawa bunted for a single to load the bases.
Yoshida got a high-straight 2-1 fastball and didn’t try to do too much with. He rifled it into center for a two-run single. Back-to-back two-out walks pushed across another run, and manger Kimiyasu Kudo stuck with Senga until Yoshida made it 4-0 with a seventh-inning double.
“Nakagawa laid down such a great bunt,” Yoshida said. “Against one of the Pacific League’s marquee pitchers, I was just looking to put a good swing on whatever good pitch I could get.”
Tyler Higgins struck out three batters in the eighth to work around a one-out walk and a single, and closer Brandon Dickson struck out two in a scoreless ninth for the Buffaloes.
Takahashi pulverizes Marines
Kona Takahashi (4-6) worked seven scoreless innings and the Seibu Lions punished Yuta Omine (0-1) in his first game back since Tommy John surgery in a 9-1 win over the Lotte Marines at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium.
Takahashi allowed one seventh-inning hit thanks to some sparkling team defense, while walking two and striking out three. The Lions tattooed Omine for seven runs over five innings.
Takumi Kuriyama, had three hits and broke the ice with a two-run third-inning single and Hotaka Yamakawa capped the rally with his 19th home run, a three-run shot.
Uwasawa goes distance to beat Eagles
Naoyuki Uwasawa (5-2) threw a five-hitter for the Nippon Ham Fighters in their 8-1 win over the Rakuten Eagles at Sapporo Dome.
The right-hander struck out seven and walked three in a 125-pitch effort. He pitched out of a two-on, no-out pickle in the second inning thanks to two-straight failed squeeze plays before surrendering the game’s first run when Kazuki Tanaka took him deep to lead off the fifth.
The Fighters tied it in the home half when Ryo Watanabe singled, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a Christian Villanueva single. Go Matsumoto’s seventh-inning RBI single off Sung Chih-hao (1-2), and the Fighters piled on in the eighth with four runs off J.T. Chargois.
Carp become Ono’s latest victims
After Yudai Ono threw his first complete game victory of the season on July 31, he was asked what he’d changed after going 0-3 in his first six starts.
He said, “Nothing really, I’ve pitched well enough to win most of the time but was only unable to hang in until we did. I’ve tried to be more economical and pitch tougher so I could stay in games longer.”
Since then, the self-deprecating Chunichi Dragons lefty has reeled off five-straight complete-game victories, tying a franchise record shared by three others, with a 5-0 win over the Hiroshima Carp at Nagoya Dome.
Ono allowed two hits and a walk in the 116-pitch outing to throw his second-straight shutout. Hiroshima’s Allen Kuri (2-4) allowed all five runs on nine hits and three walks over 7-2/3 innings.
Yota Kyoda broke up a scoreless tie in the fifth inning after reaching on a leadoff triple and scoring when Ono grounded out.
Giants walk it off against ‘Stars
Naoki Yoshikawa bounced a ground ball through the infield to bring home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as the Yomiuri Giants beat the DeNA BayStars 3-2 at Tokyo Dome.
Against Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano, the Dragons erased a two-run deficit. Sugano allowed one run in the fifth when the BayStars loaded the bases with no outs. He issued two walks, both in the ninth to set the table for Keita Sano’s game-tying RBI single off lefty Kota Nakagawa.
Sugano, who was gunning for his 10th victory to start the season, allowed four hits while striking out 10.
Rubby De La Rosa (1-0) worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the Giants to earn the win in relief after the Giants scored off of lefty Edwin Escobar (0-2) to win it.
The Giants opened the scoring against Taiga Kamichatani in the fourth on a walk by Yoshihiro Maru and a two-out Takumi Oshiro homer.
Spencer Patton worked a scoreless seventh and Kenta Ishida did the same in the eighth to keep the BayStars in it until the end.
Sands blast knocks off Swallows
Jerry Sands drove in both runs for the Hanshin Tigers in their 2-1 win over the Yakult Swallows at Koshien Stadium.
The former Dodger and KBO RBI champ doubled in a run in the fourth to break up a scoreless pitchers’ duel between lefties Masanori Ishikawa of the Swallows and Haruto Takahashi of the Tigers. Ishikawa lasted 5-1/3 innings, while Takahashi went seven.
The Swallows tied it on a two-out Munetaka Murakami double and an Alcides Escobar RBI single. But Yuta Iwasad worked a 1-2-3 eighth for the Tigers, and Robert Suarez (1-0) worked around Tetsuto Yamada’s leadoff double in the ninth to keep the game tied.
Instead of closer Taishi Ishiyama, Gabriel Ynoa (0-3) took over in the ninth and Sands hit his sixth pitch for his 13th home run of the season.
Active roster moves 9/1/2020
Starting pitchers for Sept. 2, 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