NPB games of May 18, 2019

Central League

Giants 5, Dragons 1

At Nagoya Dome, Yomiuri’s Alex Guerrero hit a two-run home run against his former team the day after being reactivated, and Christopher Mercedes (4-2) threw seven scoreless innings. Chunichi’s Yuya Yanagi (3-2) allowed five runs in six innings.

Dayan Viciedo doubled in the Dragons’ only run in the eighth inning.

Carp 4, Tigers 0

At Koshien Stadium, Hiroshima’s Ryoma Nishikawa opened the scoring against Hanshin’s Randy Messenger (2-4) with a three-run, first-inning home run, while Kris Johnson (3-3) threw six shutout innings for the third straight game.

The win was the Carp’s sixth straight.

BayStars 11, Swallows 6

At Jingu Stadium, Toshiro Miyazaki went 3-for-4 with a walk and his fifth-inning RBI double off Ryota Igarashi broke a 3-3 tie before DeNA completely dismantled Yakult’s bullpen.

Neftali Soto hit his 12th homer for the BayStars, while Wladimir Balentien hit his ninth for the Swallows, off Edwin Escobar, and his first since missing two weeks due to upper body issues.

Pacific League

Hawks 2, Fighters 1

At Kumamoto, Kodai Senga (5-0) struck out nine en route to winning his fifth straight start. Nearly six years to the day after he won his first pro victory in the same hilltop park, Senga gave up the lead in the fourth, when Kensuke Kondo doubled and scored on a Wang Po-jung single.

Fighters starter Naoyuki Uwasawa (3-2) pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth as the rain began pouring down at Fujisakidai Stadium.

After an hour rain delay, Senga returned to the mound in the top of the fifth, struck out the side, and his teammates took the lead thanks to a couple of mistakes by the Fighters defense.

Kondo in left tried to throw out Go Kamamoto at the plate on a one-out Kenta Imamiya single, but his throw got past catcher Yushi Shimizu. Uwasawa was on the spot backing up the play, but Shimizu took himself out of the play by also giving chase, leaving the lights on but no one at home. Imamiya took second on the error, went to third on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on an Alfredo Despaigne sacrifice fly.

Eagles 6, Marines 4

At Zozo Marine Stadium, a throwing error by Lotte second baseman Shogo Nakamura opened the door to a four-run eighth inning, wasting a strong start from Mike Bolsinger.

Reliever Yuki Karakawa made good pitches after the error but surrendered an RBI double to Kazuya Fujita. The right-hander battled until he hung a 2-2 breaking ball to Hideto Asamura. The 2018 PL RBI leader tied it with his 10th home run. Hiroaki Shimauchi put a good swing on a decent 2-2 forkball and drove it out for his fourth home run.

Buffaloes 2, Lions 1

At Kyocera Dome, Kohei “K” Suzuki (1-1) struck out six over 5-2/3 innings, and Orix came from behind on two fourth-inning unearned runs against Seibu’s Tatsuya Imai. Four Buffaloes relievers held the Lions to a lone single the rest of the way.

Imae (4-4) allowed four hits, two walks, and a hit batsman, while striking out five over seven innings. Suzuki walked five and hit a batter, but allowed just three hits, including a first-inning RBI double to Osaka native Tomoya Mori.

Hirotoshi Masui recorded his NPB-best 13th save.

In other news

  • Eagles right-hander Takayuki Kishi, out since hurting his left hamstring on Opening Day, is expected to return to action on May 24 against the Orix Buffaloes.
  • Yoshinori Sato, who has spent much of his pro career “on the road to recovery” with the Yakult Swallows, is now reportedly on the road to recovery with Rakuten after touching 151 kph in two scoreless innings for the Eagles’ farm team.
  • Lip service to dogma department Yakult rookie Munetaka Murakami on his team-leading 11th home run, a three-run shot: “We were trailing by three runs, so I was just trying to keep the rally going for the guys behind me (Yakult’s underpowered 7th, 8th and 9th spots).”

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