It’s not like they were calling him “Losing pitcher Sumida” or anything, but Chihiro Sumida, Seibu’s top signing from the 2021 draft, did snap an unenviable streak on Wednesday, while Orix’s Frank Schwindel had a belated but memorable Japan debut in a game he didn’t expect to play in and which ended in riveting fashion.
Buffaloes 2, Eagles 1: At Osaka Dome, Frank Schwindel went 3-for-4 in his Japan debut that helped lefty Daiki Tajima (2-1) pick up the win after he allowed a run over eight innings. Maikel Franco had one of the Eagles’ four hits off Tajima and scored the game’s first run on a fourth-inning single by Hiroto Kobukata.
Orix catcher Tomoya Mori reached base for the third time, opening the eighth with an infield single and scored on Schwindel’s third single of the game.
Mori then secured the win in the ninth when he applied the tag on a play at the plate to end the game on a throw from substitute right-fielder Yuya Oda.
“He (Tajima) pitched a great game, an amazing play at home. This is a lot of fun and an amazing first day,” Schwindel said.
“I didn’t even know I was playing today. And the manager told me I was in there, so that was a good decision by him.”
Giants 5, BayStars 1: At Saga, Iori Yamasaki allowed four hits and walked one while allowing a run over seven innings, and Yomiuri came from behind in the second on three no-out singles by Kazuma Okamoto, Yoshihiro Maru and Lewis Brinson before Naoki Yoshikawa‘s sac fly scored Maru to make it 2-1 against Haruhiro Hamaguchi (0-3).
The Giants tried twice to score an insurance run in the fourth, but but first baseman Neftali Soto got the inning’s first out by nailing Okamoto at the plate, and Keita Sano ended the inning by gunning down Maru. Yoshikawa, however, who singled on that play, hit his first homer, with a man on, in the seventh, and Sho Nakata really blasted his fifth home run, leading off the eighth against J.B. Wendelken.
Lions 3, Hawks 2: At Seibu Dome, Gakuto Wakabashi homered for the first time in two years in the first inning, off Nao Higashihama (2-1). Career minor leaguer Shu Masuda doubled in Akira Nakamura to tie it 1-1 against Seibu’s Chihiro Sumida (1-2) in the third, but Takeya Nakamura singled in the home half and David MacKinnon hit his second home run to give the Lions the lead they would keep.
Masuda hit his first major league homer in the ninth, off closer Tatsushi Masuda, who retired the other three batters he faced to record his third save.
The win was Sumida’s first since he beat Orix in his pro debut on March 26, 2022, and snapped a franchise-record worst 12-decision losing streak.
Carp 6, Tigers 1: At Koshien Stadium, Kotaro Otake (2-0), whom the Tigers got in December’s second-chance draft, allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings, and the Tigers hitters began to do damage in the fifth, breaking up a scoreless tie on a pair of softly hit balls and a sacrifice fly.
Hiroshima’s Shogo Akiyama led off the seventh with his second double and scored after Ryoma Nishikawa and Takashi Uemoto singled. Lefty Yuta Iwasada took over and got a quick out to strand two, and Hanshin blew the game open in the bottom of the inning, when Chikamoto drove in two with his second triple.
In Otake’s two starts since escaping SoftBank, he’s allowed one run on nine hits over 12-2/3 innings while striking out seven and walking none.
Marines 4, Fighters 3: At Kitahiroshima Taxpayers Burden Stadium, Marines rookie Ryotaro Mori (1-0) escaped a two-one one-out pickle in the first but couldn’t repeat the feat in the second, when rookie Tatsuki Mizuno singled home Ryota Yachi. Mori was charged with two runs over 5-1/3 innings
The Fighters fell to 0-5 against Lotte this season.