We had just two games on Thursday in preparation for Friday’s ball of fun as Roki Sasaki pitches against Masahiro Tanaka for the second time. I can’t wait, but before that we’ll get to today’s games, both of which went down to the wire.
So let’s get started.
Swallows 4, Carp 2, 12 innings: At Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Munetaka Murakami did not drive in a run for the first time in eight games, but Drew Anderson and Masanori Ishikawa locked up in a terrific pitchers’ duel, each allowing a solo home run.
Yakult’s rookie shortstop Hideki Nagaoka homered in the third, and fifth-year Carp shortstop Kaito Kozono hit Ishikawa’s first pitch of the sixth inning out to tie it. Ishikwa drew a leadoff walk to open Yakult’s sixth and spent the entire inning in hot and humid Hiroshima as Anderson struck out Murakami to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Pinch-hitter Kento Nakamura hit Ishikawa’s second pitch to the wall for a double, but the 42-year-old left him there and finished his stint as the 28th pitcher to throw 3,000 innings in Japanese pro ball.
Both teams scored in the 10th with the help of a throwing error, by Carp catcher Tsubasa Aizawa in the top of the inning and by Swallows closer Scott McGough in the home half. Two big innings, from Hiroshima’s Nik Turley and Swallows setup man Noboru Shimizu (4-1), kept it tied going into the 12th.
Another error opened the door for Yakult in the 12th, when Yasutaka Shiomi reached on a ball that nearly took rookie third baseman Masaya Yano’s glove off. A sacrifice and a groundout brought up Murakami, and for the second straight time, the Carp elected to walk him intentionally.
Hiroshima’s outfield came in, and rookie Kazuya Maruyama’s routine fly off former closer Shota Nakazaki (1-5) to right center found the gap for a two-run double instead of being the final out of a scoreless inning, and Kazuto Taguchi retired the Carp in order for his first save since joining the Swallows in a trade from Yomiuri in March 2020.
The Carp, who are 9-0-2 against Hanshin this year, are 1-10-0 against Yakult.
BayStars 6, Tigers 5: At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA leadoff man Masayuki Kuwahara singled three times and scored twice, while No. 2 hitter Taishi Ota scored twice and doubled home Kuwahara with the tying run in the ninth inning off Hanshin closer Suguru Iwazaki (1-3). Catcher Hiroki Minei, who entered as a late-inning defensive substitute, singled in Ota with two out in the ninth to win it.
Hanshin starter Aaron Wilkerson allowed four first-inning runs, but left the bases loaded in the second, and the Tigers slowly played catch up. Teruaki Sato’s 14th homer tied it in the seventh inning off Edwin Escobar, and setup man Hiromu Ise surrendered the go-ahead run to the Tigers in the eighth.
Fighters vs Buffaloes: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Marines vs Eagles: Chiba Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Swallows vs BayStars: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Dragons vs Tigers: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Carp vs Giants: Hiroshima Citizen’s Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 6/30/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/10