NPB games and news, Sept. 11, 2019

Pacific League

Lions 4, Hawks 1

At MetLife Dome, Seibu seized first place with a win over SoftBank, Zach Neal (10-1) allowed a run over seven innings, to win his fifth straight start.

He didn’t walk a batter for the second-straight game and didn’t allow a base runner until Alfredo Despaigne homered to lead off the Hawks’ fifth.

Here is Neal’s hero interview along with closer Tatsushi Masuda.

Tomoya Mori hit a two-out, three-run double in the third off Rei Takahashi (11-4) in an otherwise solid start. Masuda worked a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 100th career save.

The Lions who won the PL last season are in first place for the first time this season.

Game highlights are HERE.

Marines 6, Buffaloes 4

At Zozo Marine Stadium, Leonys Martin hit his third two-run homer in a week in Lotte’s four-run second and hit a solo homer, his 14th in 42 NPB games in the third as Lotte handed Orix its ninth-straight loss.

Game highlights are HERE.

Eagles 3, Fighters 1

At Tokyo Dome, Rakuten’s Jabari Blash hit his 32nd home run, and Ginji Akaminai broke a 1-1 ninth-inning tie with a two-run, bases-loaded single off Nippon Ham closer Ryo Akiyoshi (0-5).

Alan Busenitz (4-2), announced as the PL’s pitcher of the month for August earlier in the day, walked two batters and hit another in the eighth, but pitched out of it to earn the win in relief. Yuki Matsui recorded his 35th save.

Game highlights are HERE.

Central League

BayStars 10, Giants 4

At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA’s Neftali Soto homered three times, once to each field, to retake the lead in the CL home run race with his 39th as he bids for his second-straight league home run title.

The video is HERE.

Dragons 3, Carp 2, 10th inning

At Mazda Stadium, Chunichi’s Yota Kyoda led off the 10th inning with his third home run, off Kyle Regnault (6-3) in a come-from-behind win over Hiroshima.

Tigers 6, Swallows 3

At Koshien Stadium, Jefry Marte hit a two-run home run as Hanshin hammered Yakult’s Yasuhiro Ogawa (4-12) for six runs over five innings.

Here’s the video of Marte’s home run.

Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami improved his record for home runs by a teenager with his 33rd.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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