NPB games, news of Aug. 16, 2019

The BayStars’ mantel as the No. 1 challengers to the Giants’ pennant hopes took a hit on Friday, as Daichi Osera broke through for his first win this season against DeNA in the opener of the Carp’s three-game series in Yokohama.

Central League

Carp 4, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Daichi Osera (10-6) went the distance to beat DeNA for the first time this season, allowing Hiroshima to take over second place for the first time since July 5 — when they were in the middle of their 11-game losing streak.

Osera, who allowed seven runs in 4-2/3 innings against the BayStars on June 28, the first defeat of that losing streak, allowed five hits and three walks, while striking out four. He also singled and scored the tie-breaking run after the BayStars came back to even it 2-2.

BayStars starter Shoichi Ino, who had not pitched with the first team since allowing six runs over three innings against the Carp on July 15 — when they snapped that losing streak, was fairly sharp despite an uneven record in the minors during his absence.

Ino (3-5) allowed three runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out five over 4-2/3 innings. In seven minor league games this year, he was 2-5 with a 4.66 ERA, although he did strike out 32 batters in 36-2/3 innings.

“He was better than what I expected. Unfortunately, we couldn’t support him. He pitched very good,” BayStars manager Alex Ramirez said after DeNA lost its fifth straight.

“That happens. It’s part of the game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

Game highlights are HERE.

Giants 2, Tigers 1

At Tokyo Dome, Hanshin failed to cash in a number of scoring opportunities, while Yomiuri did more with less, coming from behind on Kazuma Okamoto’s 22nd home run, a two-run shot, in the fourth.

Giants right-hander Toshiki Sakurai (7-2) won his second straight start, holding the Tigers to a run on Yangervis Solarte’s first-inning sacrifice fly after the visitors loaded the bases with one out.

New Giant Rubby De La Rosa earned his third save for the league leaders, who increased their lead to 4-1/2 games.

Game highlights are HERE.

Dragons 4, Swallows 2

At Jingu Stadium, Chunichi’s Yohei Oshima and Noamichi Donoue each hit a two-run, first-inning home run off Yasuhiro Ogawa (3-11) in a win over Yakult.

The Swallows had a chance to get even in the eighth, but ran themselves out of the inning, when Yuhei Takai tried to score from first on Munetaka Murakami’s one-out double off Joely Rodriguez.

Pacific League

Buffaloes 2, Marines 1

At Kyocera Dome, Lefty Andrew Albers (2-2) returned to duty after dealing with a herniated lumbar disc in May with seven scoreless innings, while Brandon Dickson worked pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the ninth to nail down his 13th save as last-place Orix beat Lotte.

“Good to be back,” Albers told the crowd on the post-game heroes podium. “The fans are great. It’s always fun coming here to play in front of them. They show up and support us.”

“I was just happy to get back here and contribute to our making a push. Luckily tonight I was able to do that, and the team really backed me up. The defense behind me was amazing. (Catcher Kenya) Wakatsuki called a great game. It was fun to be a part of this again.”

“We turned a great double play in the second, and Masataka (Yoshida) makes a great catch in left that saves a leadoff double. When guys are playing like that behind you, you just try to throw it over, and they were finding gloves tonight.”

Marines starter Yuji Nishino (1-2), making his second straight after over a year in the bullpen, struck out 10 over seven innings, but allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks to take the loss.

Game highlights are HERE.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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