NPB news: July 18, 2023

Monday was a national holiday in Japan, Sea Day, so we had baseball ahead of the Wednesday and Thursday’s all-star games. Carter Stewart Jr. and Shumpeita Yamashita squared off in a duel of hard-throwing rookies with good curveballs, Tomoyuki Sugano didn’t make it out of the first inning in one of the year’s wildest games, and Hiroshima’s Hiroki Tokoda did it all on the mound and at bat

Monday’s games

Buffaloes 2, Hawks 1, 10 innings: At Fukuoka Dome, Shumpeita Yamashita (8-2) struck out eight over seven innings while allowing two singles and two walks. Carter Stewart Jr. (0-2) was nearly as impressive. He surrendered five hits, two on slow rollers, striking out seven and walking two. He pitched out of a fourth-inning jam – when right fielder Ukyo Shuto robbed Yuma Tongu of a two-out two-run double. A hard-hit double in the sixth, and a one-out walk set up all three Orix runs.

Leandro Cedeno crushes SoftBank for the second straight day.

Leandro Cedeno put a good swing on a decent fastball and knocked it into the right-field home run terrace for his fifth homer.

Shota Abe and Yuki Udagawa each contributed a scoreless inning of relief with Udagawa earning his second save.

The loss was SoftBank’s ninth straight, the Hawks’ longest since 1996, the year Hawks fans in Osaka – from where the franchise had moved seven years earlier – pelted the Daiei team bus with eggs. The Buffaloes go into the second half with a 3-1/2 game lead over the Marines.

Swallows 11, Giants 10, 10 innings: At Jingu Stadium, Yomiuri overcame the six-run first-inning hole Tomoyuki Sugano dug for them by throwing one floating ball after another into the zone and surrendering a three-run homer to Munetaka Murakami and a two-run shot to catcher Soma Uchiyama in all of one-third of an inning.

Swallows rookie Yuta Ichikawa gave most of that back. Rookie shortstop Makoto Kadowaki singled in two in the second. Yuto Akihiro hit a two-run homer in the third, before a bases-loaded walk and a Hisayoshi Chono pinch-hit single tied it.

Adam Walker doubled and scored the tie-breaking run for the Giants to make it 7-6 in the fourth, before Yakult lowered the boom again on Uchiyama’s sixth homer, a grand slam. Kadowaki homered to make it 10-8 in the fifth, and the Giants caught up in the seventh on a two-run single by Walker.

Yuhei Nakamura, who drove in the winning run Saturday with a squeeze, and Sunday with a three-run homer, doubled with one out in the 10th and scored the winning run on Ryusei Takeoka’s sayonara single.

Swallows-Giants highlights

Carp 2, Deniers 1: At Yokohama Stadium, Hiroki Tokoda (8-2) surrendered a first-inning run on a Tatsuo Ebina leadoff double and a one-out Keita Sano single, but would allow just two more runners on walks through 6-2/3 innings. Tokoda hit a pair of leadoff singles and scored both of Hiroshima’s runs. With the tying run in scoring position in the seventh, former closer Ryoji Kuribayashi came in to strike out pinch-hitter Toshiro Miyazaki. Sotaro Shimauchi worked the eighth for the Carp and Takuya Yasaki got his 17th save.

DeNA-Carp highlights

Lions 7, Fighters 2: At Seibu Dome, Chihiro Sumida (5-7) continued his upward progress, allowing two runs over six innings while striking out 12 and walking one for Seibu.

Ariel Martinez’s 11th home run made it 2-0 Fighters in the first, but Takumi Kuriyama homered to open the Lions’ four-run second inning.

Takumi Kuriyama turns back the clock by sparking the Lions comeback.

Shota Hiranuma, who singled in a run in the second, homered in the sixth, and Shuta Tonosaki and David MacKinnon each hit his 10th homer, in the seventh.

David MacKinnon’s 10th home run

Tigers 4, Dragons 1: At Koshien Stadium, Junya Nishi (3-2) pitched out of a two-on no-out jam in the first, and Teruaki Sato hit a three-run first-inning homer off Hideaki Wakui (3-10). Nishi, who led the 2018 U-18 World Cup in home runs as Japan’s designated hitter, singled in a second-inning run. He allowed one run over seven innings.

Tigers-Dragons highlights

Eagles 4, Marines 2: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Tomohiro Anraku (1-0) came in with runners on second and third and one out and retired all eight batters he faced, allowing Rakuten to overcome a 2-1 deficit.

Yuya Ogo drew a two-out walk and scored the tying run in the fifth, and doubled in two runs in the sixth to break the 2-2 tie.

The Eagles were gifted a first-inning run on two singles and two errors, by catcher Tomoya Kakinuma and pitcher Atsuki Taneichi (6-4). Yuki Matsui earned his 23rd save for the Eagles.

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