NPB games, news of Aug. 10, 2019

Pacific League

Hawks 8, Fighters 4

At Yafuoku Dome, Kohei Arihara (11-6) blew a 4-0 lead as Nippon Ham lost to league-leading SoftBank. Kodai Senga (11-4) struck out 10 while walking two and allowing four runs over seven innings.

Ryo Watanabe capped a four-run Fighters’ fourth with a three-run home run, but Senga retired seven of the last eight batters he faced to earn the win.

Shuhei Fukuda got the Hawks on the board in the sixth, walking, stealing second and scoring on a single, and Arihara surrendered two, two-out RBI singles. The Fighters’ defense fell apart in a three-run seventh and that was the ball game.

Game highlights are HERE.

Lions 8, Marines 3

At Zozo Marine Stadium, Kona Takahashi (8-5) repeatedly pitched out of trouble to allow three runs, two earned, over 6-2/3 innings, while Takeya Nakamura drove in three runs and Sosuke Genda — back at short for the first time in six games — drove in two as Seibu walloped Lotte, hammering Kota Futaki (6-8) for six runs over four innings.

Game highlights are HERE.

Buffaloes 8, Eagles 4

At Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten’s pitching played a similar refrain as starter Shu Sugahara cruised through the opposing order twice and then got hammered. Orix overcame a 2-0 deficit by scoring two off Sugahara and three more off reliever Yuya Kubo (2-1) in the sixth.

The Buffaloes started journeyman Sachiya Yamasaki, who was fortunate to allow just two runs over four innings because scheduled starter and PL ERA leader Yoshinobu Yamamoto felt discomfort in his left oblique muscles and was taken to a hospital in Sendai to be examined.

Game highlights are HERE.

Central League

Giants 8, Swallows 4

At Tokyo Dome, Yakult starter Tomoya Hoshi (0-1) walked six batters and allowed six runs in 1-2/3 innings and Yomiuri held on to win its third straight. Hayato Sakamoto tied his career-high with his 31st home run to open the scoring and Alex Guerrero doubled in two runs in the Giants’ three-run first.

Toshiki Sakurai (6-2) allowed two runs over six innings to earn the win for the Giants.

Game highlights are HERE.

BayStars 5, Dragons 4

At Yokohama Stadium, rookie Yukiya Ito started at second and DeNA’s second draft pick out of Rissho University homered twice, tying it with a two-run shot in the eighth as the BayStars battled back from a 4-0 deficit to beat Chunichi.

Tomo Otosaka won it in the ninth with a sacrifice fly. Yamato Maeda, who has a solid portfolio of late-inning heroics this season, led off the ninth with a double and scored the winning run.

Talking the talk

Ito proved he knows how to speak hero, given the chance to stand on the postgame heroes podium. Here’s an excerpt.

“My name’s Yukiya Ito. (cheers from the crowd). I like Korean barbecue set meals.”

“I failed to produce in my first two at-bats, so I wanted to expand our scoring chance after that (translation: I wasn’t trying to hit home runs, but rather I was focussed only on playing small ball).”

In a country where children are told that trying to hit home runs is wrong, saying you tried to hit a home run is almost the same as Babe Ruth asserting he called his shot in the World Series and is a fundamental of yakyu doubletalk.

Game highlights are HERE.

Tigers 6, Carp 5

At Kyocera Dome, Hiroshima closer Geronimo Franzua blew a two-run, ninth-inning lead as Yusuke Oyama followed a leadoff single and a walk with a three-run sayonara home run to win it for Hanshin.

Game highlights are HERE.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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