Tanabata, the star festival, was celebrated in many places in Japan on Thursday. The day when people write their wishes on strips of colored paper and hang them from bamboo trees. This year, the wishes came true for a pair of new imports, some rookies, and in Sendai, where the festival has a long history, for a gang of oldsters.
Let’s get started.
Swallows 11, Giants 3: At Tokyo Dome, the Giants deactivated shortstop Hayato Sakamoto for the third time this year, and Yakult’s batters hit pitch after pitch hard as the Swallows erupted for five first-inning runs off Matt Shoemaker (4-6), who left with two on and one out in the third but allowed no more runs.
Adam Walker homered in the bottom of the first inning, his 17th, off Masanori Ishikawa (5-3), who then settled down. Yasutaka Shiomi’s 12th homer made it 6-1 against the Giants’ second pitcher, Chiaki Tone, in the fourth.
Rookie Swallows outfielder Kazuya Maruyama came off the bench for defense late in the game, doubled and singled and drove in three runs.
Carp 3, Tigers 0: At Koshien Stadium, Drew Anderson (3-2) struck out nine over eight innings.
Ryan McBroom opened the second inning with his 10th home run, off rookie lefty Takuma Kirishiki (0-3) and singled along with Shogo Sakakura to open the ninth, when two runs on scored on Ryuhei Matsuyama’s two-out pinch-hit double.
BayStars 0, Dragons 0, 12 innings: At Yokohama Stadium, there was a pitchers’ duel from start to finish with 11 pitchers combining to allow nine hits and three walks. Chunichi starter Hiroto Takahashi struck out nine.
Eagles 5, Hawks 2: At Miyagi Stadium, 37-year-old Takayuki Kishi (6-3) struck out six, allowed two hits and a walk, but got three double plays behind him to face the minimum over seven innings, and move within three wins of 150 career victories.
Takero Okajima, 32, playing in his seventh game of the season, doubled with one out in the third, for the Eagles’ first hit off Kotaro Otake, and scored on an error. Okajima’s sac fly plated 34-year-old Ginji Akaminai in the fourth. Okajima led off the Eagles’ three-run seventh with a single. Closer Yuki Matsui entered in the ninth to get the last two outs and secured his 19th save after the Hawks rallied for two runs.
Fighters 7, Marines 1: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Fighters rookie Eito Tanaka (1-0) pitching for the first time in three years, earned his first major league win after allowing a run over six innings.
The Fighters’ Kotaro Kiyomiya hit his 10th homer, and the Marines’ Koki Yamaguchi his seventh, as each homered for the second straight game, in the second. Marines lefty Shoma Sato (1-5) walked fellow rookie Daigo Kamikawabata, leading off the Fighters’ third. Kensuke Kondo doubled in one run and scored on a Go Matsumoto single.
Kamikawabata singled to open the fifth when two more came in on RBI singles by Toshiya Sugiya and Yuki James Nomura.
Lions 5, Buffaloes 4,: At Osaka Dome, Ren Mukunoki (1-0), Orix’s first-round signing from last year’s draft struck out seven, walked two and allowed two singles over six scoreless innings in his major league debut.
Seibu’s Aito Takeda hit his second homer of the series and his sixth of the season, with a man on in the eighth.
Friday’s starting pitchers
Eagles vs Lions: Miyagi Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Marines: Osaka Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Hawks vs Fighters: Fukuoka Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs BayStars: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Swallows vs Tigers: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Dragons vs Carp: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 7/6/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/16
Active roster moves 7/7/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/17