There were four games Friday, with some history taking place for Hanshin in Japan’s most historic ballpark.
Shogo Akiyama turned back the clock at the expense of the Yakult Swallows, former Orix Buffalo Aderlin Rodriguez made an instant impact, current Buffalo Joe McCarthy gave Orix a hot start, Yuki Yanagita got SoftBank back in that game,
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Tigers 6, BayStars 3: At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin won its 5,500th game, the third franchise in Japanese pro baseball to reach that figure. It was also the 250th win for outgoing fourth-year skipper Akihiro Yano.
Koyo Aoyagi (11-1) surrendered the lead on a fourth-inning solo home run, Taishi Kusumoto’s second of the season, but the Tigers blasted back on two-run homers by Yusuke Oyama, his 20th, and Teruaki Sato, his 15th, and a two-run pinch-hit double by former Orix Buffalo Aderlin Rodriguez in his first Central League at-bat.
Carp 5, Swallows 2: At Jingu Stadium, Shogo Akiyama found his mojo, going 4-for-5 with a game-tying two-run homer in the eighth inning off Yugo Umeno before Kaito Kozono homered off closer Scott McGough (0-2) in the ninth and pinch-hitter Ryuhei Matsuyama iced the game with a two-run shot.
The bullpen blowup wasted seven scoreless innings from Yasuhiro “Ryan” Ogawa, and took Carp ace Daichi Osera off the hook for the loss.
Hawks 7, Buffaloes 5: At Osaka Dome, Yuki Yanagita tied the game with a solo homer, his 11th before Daishu Nomura tripled to set up the go-ahead run in the Hawks’ two-run eighth, and Livan Moinelo worked a scoreless ninth for his 14th save.
Lions 9, Eagles 4: At Seibu Dome, Tomoya Mori went 4-for-5 scored three runs and drove in three as Seibu scored five runs, three earned, off Takahiro Norimoto (6-5). Seibu’s Yutaro Watanabe (1-1) allowed two runs over five-plus innings to pick up the win.
The Lions, who got captain Sosuke Genda back from COVID, remained one win back of the Hawks in the PL pennant race.
Saturday’s starting pitchers
Fighters vs Marines: Sapporo Dome 3 pm, 2 am EDT
Lions vs Eagles: Seibu Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Hawks: Osaka Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Swallows vs Carp: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Tigers vs BayStars: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 7/22/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/1