The Pacific League’s top-of-the-table clash between SoftBank and Seibu moved on to Game 2 on Wednesday, while the DeNA BayStars entered their game against Yomiuri with a 12-game home winning streak on the line, and the Hanshin Tigers looking to break their seven-game skid against Yakult.
Rain washed out Roki Sasaki’s start against Orix in Kobe, and the Marines are off on Thursday, so who knows when we’ll see if the kid can keep sizzling the way he did for most of his start last week.
Let’s get to the games shall we?
Carp 1, Dragons 0, 11 innings: At Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Chunichi’s Hiroto Takahashi struck out 10 over seven innings, and Hiroshima’s Allen Kuri threw nine innings, but neither got a decision after the Carp cashed in their only good scoring opportunity of the game on veteran pinch-hitter Ryuhei Matsuyama’s walk-off 11th-inning double against newbie pitcher Akira Neo.
Swallows 4, Tigers 2: At Jingu Stadium, Masashi Ito (8-4) struck out 12 over the distance, but surrendered the first runs on Munetaka Murakami’s 42nd home run, with two men on and two outs in the third.
Teruaki Sato blasted a lazy fastball up in the zone with a man on in the sixth off Swallows starter Keiji Takahashi (8-2), but Tetsuto Yamada homered in the eighth to complete the scoring as Yakult’s bullpen retired the final nine batters to send Hanshin to its season-worst eighth straight loss.
Mel Rojas Jr., who saved two runs by snaring a two-out sinking liner on Tuesday, made a good catch off the top of the wall in left to keep the game scoreless in the second after Jose Osuna doubled with one out.
Scott McGough saved his 30th game.
BayStars 7, Giants 3: At Yokohama Stadium, Neftali Soto broke a tie with a home run for the second straight day, hitting his 12th off rookie reliever Yuji Akahoshi (3-5) with a man on in the sixth inning.
The Giants took a three-run third-inning lead off Haruhiro Hamaguchi with Hayato Sakamoto singling in one run and Sho Nakata doubling in another. Soto singled to open the BayStars’ three-run fifth, when Masayuki Kuwahara singled in two and Taishi Kusumoto tied it with a sac fly.
Toshiro Miyazaki iced it with a two-run eighth-inning homer as DeNA won their franchise-record 13th straight at home.
Hawks 5, Lions 3: At Seibu Dome, SoftBank put a series of good first-inning swings on breaking pitches and forkballs up in the zone from Katsunori Hirai (6-6) in a three-run first. Ukyo Shuto singled, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on a Taisei Makihara humpback line single. Back-to-back doubles by Alfredo Despaigne and Akira Nakamura made it 3-0.
Brian O’Grady put a good swing on a tough pitch for a two-run second-inning double off Colin Rea (5-3). Hirai hit one and walked one in the fourth, with Takuya Kai squeezing in one run and Kenta Imamiya singling in another. Rea worked five innings, but five relievers covered the final four innings, allowing just one hit and one runner to reach on a dropped third strike.
Former Yomiuri Giants ace Tetsuya Utsumi, who announced Tuesday this would be his final season, got a huge round of applause when he took over for the Lions in the seventh, struck out two and allowed an infield single.
Eagles 8, Fighters 2: At Sapporo Dome, Hideto Asamura broke a 2-2 sixth-inning tie by singling in Daichi Suzuki, who singled four times and scored twice for Rakuten. Eigoro Mogi doubled in two runs in the second to put the Eagles ahead, walked and scored in a two-run sixth, and put the game out of reach with a two-run seventh-inning triple.
Wataru Karashima (4-2), who strikes out fewer than six batters per nine innings, struck out nine Fighters over five innings.
Thursday’s starting pitchers
Fighters vs Eagles: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Lions vs Hawks: Seibu Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Swallows vs Tigers: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
BayStars vs Giants: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Carp vs Dragons: Hiroshima Citizen’s Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 8/17/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/27