The CL won interleague for the second time in two years and the third time overall since 2005 with a 55-53 record despite being outscored 375-338.
Tsuyoshi Wada pitched against the Yakult Swallows with a shot at his 37th career interleague win, while a pitcher half his age who is garnering 10 times as many headlines, Roki Sasaki, has been deactivated for another 10-day stint on the inactive list.
Brian O’Grady whipped it up, while, Dietrich Enns, and Joe Gunkel also had days to remember, so let’s get to it.
Swallows 3, Hawks 0: At Fukukuoka Dome, 41-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada and 25-year-old Keiji Takahashi stole the show from Munetaka Murakami in a riveting pitchers’ duel. Wada, whose velocity is the best it’s been since he had Tommy John surgery in 2012, struck out eight while allowing two walks and one hit over six innings.
Takahashi (5-1) couldn’t locate his breaking pitches early on, but used them to change speeds and keep hitters off his electric fastball. He struck out 10 while allowing five hits and walking none, and cruised for most of the game.
Katsuki Matayoshi (1-3), gave up a leadoff single to Jose Osuna, and a one-out RBI double to rookie shortstop Hideki Nagaoka, where the Hawks broadcast crew criticized manager Hiroshi Fujimoto for bringing the outfield in, which was unheard of, but in this case, uncalled for.
The outfield was only playing a few steps in against the Swallows’ slap-hitting No. 9 batter, and unless they’d been playing him on the warning track, they wouldn’t have gotten to his drive to the warning track in right-center. Yasutaka Shiomi followed with his 10th home run, giving him a good start on his 29th birthday celebrations.
Takahashi’s shutout, his second after he shut out Orix in Game 2 of last year’s Japan Series, prevented Wada from winning his 150th major league game, and tying Swallows golden oldy Masanori Ishikawa’s record of 27 career interleague wins.
Tigers 9, Buffaloes 1: At Osaka Dome, Joe Gunkel (3-4) struck out seven in his five-hitter, his first complete game in Japan, Yasuhiro Yamamoto reached base four times and scored three, while Teruaki Sato singled, doubled, hit his 13th home run, walked, and drove in six runs.
Hiroya Miyagi (5-3) allowed four runs on two walks and six hits over six innings while striking out four. The highlight of the game for the Buffaloes was former Tigers ace Atsushi Nomi pitching against his old team.
Eagles 9, Giants 2: At Miyagi Stadium, rookie Iori Yamasaki (2-3) allowed five runs over 1-2/3 innings as Yomiuri was blown out in Sendai for the second straight day. Ryosuke Tatsumi homered with one out in the second to open the scoring and capped the nine-run second with a three-run home run.
Adam Walker hit his 13th home run for the Giants, while Eagles starter Takahiro Norimoto (4-2) allowed two runs over seven innings to earn his 100th win in Japan, giving the Eagles four 100-game winners in their rotation after Masahiro Tanaka, Takayuki Kishi and Hideaki Wakui.
“A heavy responsibility falls on the starting pitcher I suppose. He has to make good use of this experience.”–Giants manager Tatsunori Hara
Lions 11, Carp 0: At Seibu Dome, Brian hit two of Seibu’s four home runs, walked and scored three runs, while Dietrich Enns (4-3) worked seven innings and two relievers completed the three-hitter. Shuta Tonosaki hit his third homer, and Hotaka Yamakawa hit his 20th.
Hiroshima’s Drew Anderson (2-2) allowed six runs in 2-2/3 innings on six walks, three hits while striking out five.
Marines 5, BayStars 4: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Lotte opened the scoring in the first when Leonys Martin hit his seventh home run after Takashi Ogino reached on a leadoff single against lefty Kenta Ishida (1-1). Rookie Marines lefty Shoma Sato (1-3) surrendered Keita Sano’s sixth-inning game-tying homer but earned his first career win after Adeiny Hechavarria broke the tie with an RBI single in the sixth and scored on an Ogino single.
Ogino tripled in an insurance run in the eighth, allowing closer Naoya Masuda to surrender two runs in the ninth but hold on for his 14th save.
overcame a spirited fightback from BayStars captain Keita Sano, who went 3-for-4 with a game-tying two-run home run, his sixth.
Fighters 2, Dragons 0: At Sapporo Dome, Takayuki Kato (3-4) threw seven innings on four-days rest to run his scoreless-innings streak to 26. The lefty struck out five, walked one and allowed six hits.
Yuya Yanagi (5-4) went the distance for the Dragons, allowing eight hits but no walks while striking out five. Go Matsumoto went 4-for-4 with an RBI double that broke the ice in the third by plating Kazunari Ishii. Matsumoto singled to lead off the sixth, was sacrificed to second and scored on a Kotaro Kiyomiya single.
Active roster moves 6/12/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/22