Kosei Yoshida, the darling of the 2018 national high school championship for pitching Akita’s tiny Kanaashi Nogyo High School to the final, where he got trampled after throwing his arm into hell’s heat treatment for five games, returned to Koshien as a regular season starter for the first time as a pro on Sunday.
The Fighters had not been having much luck with their homecomings this weekend in their interleague bottom-feeders challenge series against the Hanshin Tigers, with whom manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo began his pro career as an infielder 30 or so years ago. Shinjo got a three-home run salute from Yusuke Oyama on Friday, as the Tigers’ first baseman dominated the series.
Well, let’s get to it.
Tigers 8, Fighters 3: At Koshien Stadium, Yoshida (1-1) got out of a first-inning jam but couldn’t escape middle-of-the-order trouble the second time around. Tigers pitcher Masashi Ito (2-2) faced just nine batters over three innings before singling to open the third. Two-out Koji Chikamoto and Teruaki Sato singles made it 1-0 before Oyama’s three-run homer, his 13th.
The Fighters got close in a three-run sixth. Kenshi Sugiya batted for Yoshida and delivered a leadoff double, and catcher Ryo Ishikawa singled. Chusei Mannami hit a sac fly, Go Matsumoto singled and Yuki James Nomura doubled in two. Ito got out of the inning and three relievers allowed only one more batter to reach on an error, and Dan Onodera iced the game with a three-run pinch-hit triple in the eighth.
Marines 10, Giants 4: At Tokyo Dome, a home run derby broke out. Brandon Laird and Leonys Martin each hit a pair, while Toshiya Sato hit one. Laird now has 11, Martin six, and Sato two. The Giants opened the scoring against lefty Fumiya Motomae (1-0) on back-to-back no-out homers by Yoshihiro Maru and Adam Walker, the 12 for each.
Laird plate Sato in the second to tie it off rookie Iori Yamasaki (2-2), who loaded the bases in the third by hitting Martin and Shogo Nakamura with one out and issuing a walk to Sato before a Laird sacrifice fly broke the tie. Martin and Sato hit fifth-inning solo shots, and Okamoto hit his 17th in the bottom of the inning with a man on.
Eagles 6, BayStars 5: At Yokohama Stadium, Hideto Asamura’s two-run ninth-inning home run brought Rakuten from a run down against Yasuaki Yamasaki (0-2) as the Eagles handed the BayStars their first Sunday loss of the season in a wild see-saw game in which Rakuten manager Kazuhisa Ishikawa was twice bitten by one-run tactics that backfired.
José Marmolejos’ two-run second-inning homer, his sixth, brought the Eagles from a run down against lefty Kenta Ishida, but only after Asamura had been caught stealing. Third-inning singles from Shugo Maki and Neftali Soto and a walk by rookie Tatsuo Ebina set up set up Taiki Sekine for a game-tying RBI single off Takahiro Norimoto.
The BayStars went in front when Maki singled in the fifth, stole second, and scored on an Ebina single. Ryosuke Tatsumi reached for the third time, leading off the sixth with a walk from reliever Taisei Irie. An error on a one-out sacrifice put two on for Japanese baseball’s journey-est man, Keizo Kawashimato plate two with a double.
With the Eagles leading 4-3 in the seventh, Rakuten’s shallow outfield defense handed DeNA the go-ahead run. A Maki leadoff double against the third Eagles’ pitcher, Naoto Nishiguchi and a booming Soto single tied it. After an Ebina sacrifice, the Eagles outfield came in to prevent the runner on second from scoring on a two-out single. Instead, Sekine hit a routine fly to deep center that wasn’t caught for an RBI triple.
Tomohiro Anraku (4-1) took out the top of the BayStars order in the eighth, Asamura hit his ninth home run off a hanging 2-1 splitter and Yuki Matsui became the first Eagles pitcher to retire Maki in a scoreless ninth to get his 15th save.
Swallows 5, Lions 3: At Jingu Stadium, rookie Hideki Nagaoka broke a 3-3 sixth-inning tie with a by plating Jose Osuna for the second time, with a single, and scored an insurance run on a Yasutaka Shiomi double.
Hirotoshi Takanashi (4-3) allowed three runs on four hits and two walks over six innings and singled in a run for the Swallows.
Nagaoka plated the game’s first run with a second-inning sac fly after a fluke Osuna leadoff single and a double by rookie catcher Soma Uchiyama, who went to third on Nagaoka’s drive, which allowed Takanashi to bounce on threw the drawn-in infield.
Shuta Tonosaki tied it with his second homer. A Tetsuto Yamada walk, a Munetaka Murakami single and a sacrifice off Seibu lefty Dietrich Enns (3-3), allowed an Osuna grounder to score the go-ahead run. Hotaka Yamakawa, however, hit a massive homer to tie it in the top of the fourth.
Osuna opened the Swallows sixth with a single, and went to second on an error by Brian O’Grady in left. After a sacrifice, Nagaoka’s single put the Swallows in front for good, Yoshimi drove in the insurance run and the bullpen took care of business, Noboru Shimizu, Kazuto Taguchi and Scott McGough retiring nine of the 10 batters they faced. McGough earned his 17th save.
Dragons 7, Hawks 3: At Nagoya Dome, SoftBank blew a first-inning lead against Yuya Yanagi (5-3) early, and lost for the 11th time this season after holding a lead. Hawks starter Kazuki Sugiyama (1-3) gave up four straight two-out hits in the first and the Dragons would never trail after that.
The Hawks did well to come back against Yanagi, Sugiyama kept giving up runs, too. Gracial doubled and scored on a Taisei Makihara fourth-inning sac fly. Abe’s third iht plated Yuki Okabayashi to make it 4-2 in the fifth. Makihara doubled in Ukyo Shuto in the sixth, but Okabayashi singled in a run in the sixth to close the book on Sugiyama and make it 5-3.
Buffaloes 5, Carp 2: At Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Hiroshima’s Drew Anderson allowed a run on a hit batsman and three singles over six innings and left with a 2-1 lead against Hiroya Miyagi (5-2), but relievers Atsushi Horie (2-2) and Makoto Kemna each allowed two runs in the seventh as the Carp lost their 12th straight to the Buffaloes, having last beat them in 2017.
The Carp continued to leave runners on base, five through the first five innings, while Orix only had two scoring chances against Anderson and cashed in one to tie it 1-1 in the fourth when Yutaro Sugimoto singled in Shuhei Fukuda.
Ryan McBroom singled in the sixth and scored the go-ahead run on a Shogo Sakakura double, but the Carp would get just two more base runners, and blew the game after Anderson was pulled for a two-out pinch-hitter in the sixth with two on.
Horie walked Takahiro Okada and Torai Fushimi to open the Buffs’ seventh. A wide throw on a sacrifice against Kemna loaded the bases with no outs, Ryoichi Adachi doubled in two, Fukuda squeezed in a run before the fourth scored on a Yuma Mune infield single.
Active roster moves 6/5/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/15