NPB games, news of June 25, 2019

And NPB interleague is a wrap for 2019 with Allen Kuri throwing his first career shutout as the Carp, with this year’s worst interleague record (5-12-1) head back into action against the Central League having surrendered their lead to the Yomiuri Giants.

The loss cost the Eagles a chance to restart league play in first place, dropping them into second behind the SoftBank Hawks on winning-percentage points.

Interleague

Carp 2, Eagles 0

At Rakuten Seimei Park, Ryosuke Kikuchi hit a home run, Rakuten starter Shu Sugahara (0-1) made a costly error in the field and suffered his first pro defeat, but the story was Allen Kuri.

The affable 27-year-old right-hander struck out three and allowed three hits — largely because of his own fielding. He caught a liner and a little pop at the foul line while fielding four grounders, showing that all the time spent in NPB on pitchers fielding practice is not wasted.

Kuri, whose father is American and a former minor league infielder, was Hiroshima’s second draft pick in 2013.

“He got me out on pitches that he located well,” Eagles leadoff hitter Eigoro Mogi said. “I thought he’d throw me more fastballs.”

Here’s video of Kikuchi’s home run.

News

Buffaloes reliever Kuroki has Tommy John surgery

The Orix Buffaloes announced Tuesday that 24-year-old right-hander Yuta Kuroki has undergone Tommy John surgery to reconstruct the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow as well as another arthroscopic procedure on the joint.

Kuroki, the Buffaloes’ second-round draft pick in 2016, is 7-4 in 94 career games with two saves and 42 holds. He has a 1.33 career WHIP with a 4.33 ERA.

He is expected to be hospitalized for another week. His pitching this season has been limited to seven Western League farm games.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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