NPB news: April 5, 2024

There were three pitchers’ duels Friday, two of which finished 1-0, one of which was a complete game, and a pair of extra-inning games, where Japan still sees MLB’s Manfred Man as unnecessary.

Friday’s games

Marines 1, Buffaloes 0: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Kazuya Ojima (1-1) allowed four hits and a walk while striking out six to outduel Hiroya Miyagi (0-2), who went eight innings and allowed the only run when Kenta Chatani singled with two outs and Hiromi Oka fouled off two 0-2 pitches before smacking an RBI double.

Dragons 1, Carp 0: At New Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Sho Nakata doubled to lead off the Dragons’s seventh and broke up a scoreless pitchers’ duel between Chunichi’s Yuya Yanagi (1-0) and Allen Kuri (0-1), when he scored on a the third double play the Carp infield turned behind their starter.

BayStars 2, Giants 1: At Tokyo Ugly Dome, lefty Katsuki Azuma (1-0), voted the CL’s best pitcher last year over MVP Shoki Murakami, allowed a run over seven innings to outduel Shosei Togo (1-1).

Kazuma Okamoto doubled and scored on a Takumi Oshiro single to open the scoring against Azuma in the second. Rookie Ryuki Watarai singled home Takuma Hayashi with one out in the sixth off Togo.

The BayStars took the lead in the seventh, when Shugo Maki singled, stole second on a busted run-and-hit and scored on a Taiki Sekine single. Mak

After a scoreless inning from Hiromu Ise, Yasuaki Yamasaki got through the ninth thanks to some terrific defense. Sekine in left made a good play to hold Makoto Kadowaki to a leadoff single, catcher Yudai Yamamoto threw out the lead runner when two-time CL MVP Yoshihiro Maru was ordered to bunt.

With two on and one out, Yamasaki got a sharply turned double play started by defensive substitute Tatsuya Shibata at third base, for his third save.

Hawks 6, Eagles 1: At Miyagi Stadium, Shuta Ishikawa (1-0) had good command and run support, making it a tough night in Sendai for the host Eagles.

An Ukyo Shuto leadoff double and singles by Kenta Imamiya and Yuki Yanagita off Takahisa Hayakawa (0-2) helped the Hawks score twice in the first. Doubles by Imamiya and Hotaka Yamakawa made it 3-0 in the third. In the fourth, Yanagita doubled in Takuya Kai, who doubled in Adam Walker in the Hawks’ fifth.

The Eagles broke through for a run in the fifth on a Takero Okajima triple and a wild pitch, but another Hawks run was right behind that one, with Yanagita scoring on Yamakawa’s second double.

Tigers 7, Swallows 6: At Jingu “Tokyo’s Sacrifice to Corporate Greed and Governmental Malfeasance” Stadium, Yakult blew a late two-run lead for the second straight night, with Teruaki Sato putting the Swallows out of their misery with a 10th inning homer, his first, before Javy Guerra earned his first save in Japan.

Sheldon Neuse hit a two-run second-inning homer off Cy Sneed before two walks from Tigers starter Koyo Aoyagi and an error on centerfielder Koji Chikamoto allowed the Swallows to tie it in the home half.

Twenty-six-year-old Yakult rookie Yukihiro Iwata, making his first major league start, in place of center fielder Yasutaka Shiomi, singled and scored on a third-inning Domingo Santana single. The lead only lasted a few minutes as Seiya Kinami doubled and scored in the Tigers’ fourth on a Takumu Nakano single.

Santana broke the seventh-inning tie with a two-out two-run single after the Swallows loaded the bases on an uncaught third strike and two walks, including Munetaka Murakami‘s third.

The teams then traded single runs in the eighth, Neuse’s sacrifice fly bringing home Shota Morishita, and Hideki Nagaoka homering to open the home half. The Tigers loaded the bases against Tomoya Hoshi with one out on two singles and a walk. Hiroki Onishi walked Nakano, and Morishita singled in the tying run.

Fighters 3, Lions 2: At Kitahiroshima Taxpayers Burden Field, Kazunari Ishii‘s 12th-inning pinch-hit leadoff single set up the winning run to score on an Ariel Martinez sacrifice fly as Nippon Ham wrapped this game up in 4 hours, 22 minutes.

Jesus Aguilar doubled to lead off the second and scored against Hiromi Ito, and Seibu’s other newly imported hitter, Franchy Cordero, homered off the right-hander to lead off the Lions’ fifth.

Nippon Ham tied it 2-2 in the seventh. Yuki James Nomura doubled and scored on a Taiki Narama sacrifice fly after the Fighters loaded the bases with no outs off Lions starter Tatsuya Imai. A Yuya Gunji single and an error then brought home catcher Yua Tamiya. Imai got out of the inning with the bases loaded by striking out Chusei Mannami.

Gosuke Kato had four hits for the Fighters and helped set up the winning run with a 12th-inning single.

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