NPB games, news of July 16, 2019

Pacific League

Fighters 3, Hawks 2

At Yafuoku Dome, reserve catcher Shingo Usami drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning to lift Nippon Ham to its second straight win over league-leading SoftBank.

Sho Nakata drew a leadoff walk and was replaced by a pinch-runner. The Hawks understudy closer, right-hander Hiroshi Kaino, hit the next batter when he tried to sacrifice. The next batter did sacrifice.

Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama pinch hit for career .209 RHB Toshitaka Yoko with career .225 switch-hitter Toshiya Sugiya, basically gaining nothing by bringing someone off the bench — except it may have encouraged Hawks manager Kimiyasu Kudo to try and set up a double play by intentionally walking the bases loaded.

After a strikeout, Kuriyama went with another pinch-hitter, Usami, who forced in the go-ahead run.

Fighters starter Toshihiro Sugiura allowed two first-inning homers and came out before his third trip through the lineup.

Game highlights are HERE.

Lions 5, Marines 1

At MetLife Dome, Sosuke Genda drove in the game’s first run with a third-inning RBI single and tripled in a seventh-inning insurance run as Seibu beat Lotte.

Game highlights are HERE.

Buffaloes 1, Eagles 0

At Kyocera Dome, Orix’s Taisuke Yamaoka (7-2) won a dynamite pitching duel with Rakuten’s Takahiro Norimoto (1-1).

The Buffaloes manufactured a first-inning run on a single, a sacrifice, a fielders choice and a Masataka Yoshida sac fly. Norimoto retired the next 19 batters, nine by strikeout, but took the loss.

Six Eagles runners reached over the first four innings, but Yamaoka got two double plays and retired the last 12 he faced. Brandon Dickson faced four batters in the ninth to record his seventh save.

Game highlights are HERE.

Central League

Dragons 3, Tigers 2

At Nagoya Dome, Zoilo Almonte drew a bases-loaded, ninth-inning “sayonara” walk, lifting Chunichi past Hanshin.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, sidelined since February after a fan gave him a particularly vigorous high five that left him with inflammation in his right shoulder, allowed two runs over five innings in his season debut for the Dragons.

Giants 6, Swallows 3

At Jingu Stadium, Yakult may want to put a bounty out on Yomiuri’s Yoshiyuki Kamei after he terrorized him for the second straight night.

Kamei iced Monday’s 11th-inning win with a two-run home run. On Tuesday, he broke a 3-3 with an RBI single in the fourth and added a solo homer in the seventh.

BayStars 8, Carp 5

At Yokohama Stadium, Kyle Regnault (4-2) walked the bases loaded with the game tied 4-4 in the seventh to set up a four-run DeNA inning as the BayStars came from behind to beat struggling Hiroshima.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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