NPB news: Aug. 5, 2022

Yomiuri got another great start from a rookie pitcher, while former Pittsburgh Pirate Gregory “El Coffee” Polanco provided the extra juice they needed in the outfield and at bat. In the Pacific League the Lions might get a new name for their dome if they keep doing that stuff they’re doing.

Friday’s games

Lions 4, Marines 3, 10 innings: At Seibu Dome, they may be calling the park “Sayonara” Seibu Dome instead of the current Seibu “Your Name Here” Dome after the Lions won for the second straight night on a walk-off home run.

On Thursday it was six-time PL home run king Takeya “Okawari-kun” Nakamura’s 448th career homer that sank the Buffaloes. On Friday it was 29-year-old utility outfielder Seiji Kawagoe’s ninth.

Lions starter Tatsuya Imai walked the first two batters he faced and Toshiya Sato hit the first pitch he saw for his sixth home run. Lotte stranded 12 runners through the first six innings, but solved that problem by not getting any more on base the rest of the game.

Hotaka Yamaka hit his 31st home run in the fourth off Ayumu Ishikawa, and Aito Takeda singled in the fifth and scored on a Shuta Tonosaki single. Tonosaki scored the tying run for the Lions off new pitcher Tayron Guerrero in the eighth. He drew a one-out walk and stole second before scoring on a wild pitch.

Burch Smith delivered three innings of long relief for Seibu in his first game since July 9. Kaima Taira, who’s been filling in for Tatsushi Masuda since the closer got COVID in the middle of July, worked the ninth, and Masuda (2-1) worked the 10th in his first game since July 10.

Hawks 7, Eagles 3: At Fukuoka Dome, Ryota Takinaka (2-7) issued three first-inning walks, Alfredo Despaigne doubled in one, and Nobuhiro Matsuda plated another with an infield single.

SoftBank starter Kazuki Sugiyama stranded six base runners over the first two innings, but allowed only one run on Hiroaki Shimauchi’s ninth home run in the third, despite allowing nine base runners in 4-1/3 innings.

Despaigne hit his sixth homer with no outs and one on in the fifth, and Akira Nakamura followed with his third to chase Ponce. Hawks catcher Takuya Kai tripled in two in the seventh off the Eagles’ third pitcher Tomohiro Anraku.

Buffaloes 5, Fighters 2: At Osaka Dome, Yutaro Sugimoto had the big blast as the Buffaloes twice came from a run down at home, while Daichi Takeyasu (1-0), whom Orix got as compensation for losing free agent Yuki Nishi to the Tigers in 2019 worked six innings to earn the win.

Renato Núñez singled and opened the scoring on a fourth-inning Yuma Imagawa sac fly, before Orix began its home run counter battery with Yuma Mune’s game-tying second home run in the bottom of the fourth.

Ryota Yachi doubled in Chusei Mannami in the fifth, but the Buffaloes roughed up Cody Ponce (2-3) in a four-run sixth. Keita Sano and Masataka Yoshida reached and scored on Sugimoto’s 14th home run. Kotaro Kurebayashi doubled with one out and scored on a Kenya Wakatsuki single.

Jacob Waguespack earned his third save.

Giants 9, Swallows 5: At Jingu Stadium, Yomiuri got its second superbly pitched game by a rookie in two days as Kenshin Hotta (2-2) allowed a run on two hits and two walks over seven innings. He got some big defensive plays early, got some run support and then pounded the zone and attacked and just kind of messed Yakult up.

Takumi Oshiro hit a two-run second-inning home run, his ninth, to open the scoring off Yasuhiro Ogawa (5-6), and Gregory Polanco hit his 15th to make it 3-1 in the fourth after Domingo Santana homered in the second for Yakult, his 10th.

Hotta then issued a walk and surrendered a Jose Osuna double. He walked the bases loaded intentionally but struck out Ogawa. He could have been screwed when Yasutaka Shiomi drilled one into left center, but Polanco caught up to it, and Hotta retired the next 15 before leaving the game.

Ogawa allowed six hits and walked four but was pretty tenacious for a guy without his best stuff or command, and Yomiuri turned it into a rout after he left. Hotta drew a one-out walk and four-straight hits, culminating with Polanco’s two-run homer made it an 8-1 game.

Zelous Wheeler homered in the Giants’ ninth in what seemed like a meaningless run, but Yomiuri’s bullpen proved as generous as Yakult’s. Rookie Natsuki Toda surrendered three straight one-out singles to load the bases for Jose Osuna’s 12th homer.

Two hits and an error put runners on second and third before Ian Kroll won a 13-pitch at-bat by striking out Shiomi on a check swing, and retiring Akihisa Nishida on a pop fly to end it.

Tigers 3, Carp 2: At Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Kairi Shimada singled and scored in the first on a Teruaki Sato sac fly, and Hanshin made it 3-0 in the fourth against Daichi Osera (7-7) on a walk and a home run, Mel Rojas Jr’s fifth, before the Carp got two back in the home half against Yuki Nishi (8-6).

Shogo Akiyama doubled and scored on a double by Shogo Sakakura, who scored on a Kaito Kozono triple. The Carp got two on in the eighth with no outs against setup man Atsuki Yuasa but failed to score, and closer Suguru Iwazaki worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 25th save.

BayStars 4, Dragons 2: At Nagoya Dome, Kazuki Kamizato singled and scored in the third off Yudai Ono (4-7), and tripled, when Pedro Revilla, a first baseman playing left, miss-played a fly ball, and scored in the fifth. A Keita Sano single and doubles by Shugo Maki and Toshiro Miyazaki made it 4-0 in the sixth.

The Dragons got two back against Shingo Onuki (8-4) in the sixth on back-to-back RBI singles from Toshiki Abe and Dayan Viciedo. Onuki allowed five hits, a walk and hit a batter over six innings. Hiromu Ise, Edwin Escobar and Yasuaki Yamasaki, who earned his 22nd save, closed it out for the BayStars.

Saturday’s starting pitchers

Lions vs Marines: Seibu Dome 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Kaito Yoza (8-3, 2.15) vs Kazuya Ojima (1-7, 2.72)

Buffaloes vs Fighters: Osaka Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kohei Azuma (0-0, 5.79) vs Eito Tanaka (1-2, 4.50)

Hawks vs Eagles: Fukuoka Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Shota Takeda (0-0, 1.35) vs Masahiro Tanaka (6-7, 2.63)

Swallows vs Giants: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Reiji Kozawa (2-1, 5.03) vs Daisuke Naoe (0-1, 3.18)

Dragons vs BayStars: Nagoya Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Shinnosuke Ogasawara (5-6, 3.28) vs Yuya Sakamoto (0-3, 6.11)

Carp vs Tigers: Hiroshima Citizen’s Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Drew Anderson (3-4, 3.36) vs Shintaro Fujinami (0-1, 4.29)

Active roster moves 8/5/2022

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/15

Central League


SwallowsOF4Kazuya Maruyama
TigersC12Seishiro Sakamoto
TigersIF0Seiya Kinami
TigersOF24Mel Rojas Jr.
GiantsP91Kenshin Hotta
CarpIF10Ryan McBroom
CarpOF59Minoru Omori
DragonsIF55Nobumasa Fukuda
DragonsOF51Kaname Takino
BayStarsOF0Taishi Ota


SwallowsOF49Daiki Watanabe
TigersP52Aaron Wilkerson
TigersIF3Yusuke Oyama
TigersIF26Fumiya Hojo
TigersOF63Yutaro Itayama
CarpOF50Kento Nakamura
DragonsIF48Hayato Mizowaki
DragonsOF95Guillermo Garcia
BayStarsOF52Seiya Hosokawa

Pacific League


BuffaloesP21Daichi Takeyasu
MarinesP45Tayron Guerrero
MarinesOF79Leonys Martin
HawksP40Kazuki Sugiyama
HawksIF5Nobuhiro Matsuda
FightersP47Kenya Suzuki
LionsP14Tatsushi Masuda


BuffaloesIF00Ryota Ishioka
MarinesP24Yusuke Azuma
MarinesP49Fumiya Motomae
MarinesIF13Taiga Hirasawa
HawksP41Kodai Senga
FightersP22Toshihiro Sugiura
LionsP28Ryosuke Moriwaki

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