NPB news: June 30, 2023

On a night when Shota Imanaga, Kohei Arihara, Yoshinobu Yamamoto were all lights out, we had a bunch of near shutouts, but the only complete game blanking came somewhere else, from Allen Kuri.

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Friday’s games

Buffaloes 5, Fighters 1: At Kitahiroshima Taxpayers Burden Field, Orix scored five early runs off lefty Takayuki Kato (5-6), and the defense helped ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (7-3) keep the Fighters scoreless until there were two outs in the eighth.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto was on target Friday.

Marwin Gonzalez doubled to open the third, and with two outs Keita Nakagawa singled to open the scoring. Koji Oshiro followed with his first home run of the season, and Yamamoto was off to the races. Another two-out single by Nakagawa in the third made it 5-0.

Yamamoto struck out seven without a walk, and might have given up a seventh-inning run without some big defense from Yuma Mune at third and Yutaro Sugimoto in left. Daiki Asama started his belated season debut 0-for-3 before his two-out triple in the eighth prevented a shutout.

Hawks 3, Lions 1: At Seibu Dome, SoftBank’s Kohei Arihara (3-0) allowed his third run, and third home run of the season, as Seibu took the early lead on David MacKinnon’s second-inning homer, his ninth of the season. Lions right-hander Wataru Matsumoto (3-6) gave it back and the some in the third inning.

Two hit batsmen and a walk, to Japan walk leader Kensuke Kondo, loaded the bases with two outs, and Tatsuru Yanagimachi did the honors with a two-run single, with Kondo showing some decent speed to score. The Hawks struggled to get runs in after that despite having plenty of traffic on the bases. Kondo doubled with two outs in the seventh and the PL runs leader scored his second of the game.

Arihara allowed two hits and three walks over eight innings while striking out six, and Livan Moinelo earned his fifth save, as the last 17 Lions hitters went down in order.

The win was Arihara’s first at Seibu Dome since his 2015 rookie of the year season.

Carp 8, Swallows 0: At Jingu Stadium, Allen Kuri (6-3) allowed five hits and no walks while striking out eight in a 109-pitch complete game, his second of the season, while Shogo Sakakura singled, doubled, walked, homered scored three and drove in three as the Carp scored six runs off Cy Sneed (5-4) in five innings to pull to within a half game of third-place DeNA.

The win was the Carp’s sixth straight.

Swallows-Carp highlights

Dragons 2, Deniers 1: At Yokohama Stadium, new Dragon Shingo Usam’s two-out eighth-inning pinch-hit double brought Chunichi from a run down against Shota Imanaga, who had been on the winning end of a pitchers’ duel with fellow lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara through seven innings. Chunichi reliever Tatsuya Shimizu (2-1) pitched out of an eighth-inning jam, and Hiromu Ise (2-2) surrendered the lead in the top of the ninth. Takaya Ishikawa walked with one out and scored from first on Shuhei Takahashi’s two-out double. Raidel Martinez struck out the side in the ninth for his 18th save.

DeNA-Dragons highlights

Giants 2, Tigers 1, 10 innings: At Tokyo Dome, Hanshin’s Junya Nishi allowed a run on two doubles, a singled and a walk over seven innings, while Yomiuri’s Shosei Togo surrendered Koji Chikamoto’s first-inning leadoff homer before stranding nine runners over eight innings.

Yomiuri relievers Kota Nakagawa and Yuhei Takanashi (1-0) each worked a 1-2-3 inning, and the Giants won it when Ren Kajiya (0-2) gave up a two-out pinch-hit home run to career minor leaguer Yukinori Kishida, who has now hit two in the majors.

Eagles 5, Marines 4: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Hiroaki Shimauchi broke a 4-4 eighth-inning tie with his fourth home run. Rakuten reliever Shoten Suzuki worked a 1-2-3 eighth, and Yuki Matsui faced the minimum in the ninth for his 16th save.

Former Eagle Manabu Mima allowed four runs over four innings, starting with Hiroto Kobukata’s two-run second-inning homer, his fourth. Former Marine Daichi Suzuki led that inning off with a walk and scored. With Rakuten leading 2-1, he singled to open the Eagles’ fourth, Kobukata singled with two outs and catcher Hikaru Ota doubled them both home.

Hisanori Yasuda ties it up.

Eagles starter Takahiro Norimoto walked six over five-plus innings, however. A one-out third-inning walk led to Gregory Polanco’s RBI single, and two no-out walks led to the Marines tying it 4-4 in the sixth on a Katsuya Kakunaka double and a Hisanori Yasuda pinch-hit single.

Wind playing its role in Chiba.

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