We didn’t have another no-hitter on Wednesday, but only by the slimmest of margins on a night when the Central League won five of six to give it a fighting chance of finishing .500 in interleague this year.
Hawks 1, Tigers 0: At Fukuoka Dome, Nao Higashihama (6-1) worked six scoreless innings, Koya Fujii worked a solid seventh, Katsuki Matayoshi survived an eighth-inning bases-loaded by striking out Yusuke Oyama and Kento Itohara, and Livan Moinelo secured his ninth save.
Akira Nakamura kept the Tigers off the scoreboard in the top of the fourth, his offline throw from right in time to nail Koji Chikamoto at the plate when he tried to score from second on Itohara’s two-out single, allowing the Hawks to open the scoring in their at-bat.
After no-out singles from Taisei Makihara and Yuki Yanagita, Junya Nishi (3-2) hit Yurisbel Gracial and a run came home on a ground out.
Fighters 5, BayStars 3: At Sapporo Dome, Shingo Usami doubled to lead off the third and Kazunari Ishii singled off Taiga Kamichatanin(2-6), who left the game on a stretcher after stumbling on the turf. Daiki Asama’s sac fly off Taisei Irie opened the scoring, Arismendy Alcantara walked and Go Matsumoto doubled in two. Kotaro Kiyomiya homered to open the Fighters’ fourth to make it 4-0.
The BayStars halved the lead against Kenta Uehara (2-0) in the fifth on one-out singles from Hiroki Minei, Taiki Sekine, Keita Sano and Masayuki Kuwahara before rookie Tatsuo Ebina lined into a double play.
Asama scored on a Go Matsumto sac fly after he and Alcantara singled to open the fifth off Tomoya Mikami. Sano singled in a seventh-inning run off lefty Mizuki Hori after singles by Yamato Maeda and Sekine.
Taisho Tamai worked the eighth for the Fighters and rookie Koki Kitayama earned his sixth save.
Lions 3, Giants 0: At Seibu Dome, the Seibu-Yomiuri series has gone to form. The Giants, one of the teams most likely to blow leads, blew a lead to lose Game 1, while the Lions, the team whose games are most likely to go to the first team to score did that to win Game 2.
Kaito Yoza (4-2) did not allow a base runner until Naoki Yoshikawa’s seventh-inning leadoff single, but an inning-ending double play had the right-handed submariner facing the minimum through seven. Kaima Taira struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth before a 1-2-3 ninth earned Tatsushi Masuda his 14th save.
One-out singles by Takumi Kuriyama, Aito Takeda and Brian O’Grady, his second of the game, opened the scoring off Matt Shoemaker in the fourth. A Shuta Tonosaki sac fly plated Takeda After a walk, O’Grady scored on a delayed double steal.
Swallows 6, Buffaloes 3: At Osaka Dome, Orix’s Jacob Waguespack outpitched Yakult’s Juri Hara over five innings but had to settle for 3-3 draw. With both teams turning it over to their bullpens, this was going to be a tough row to how for the Buffaloes, and that proved to be the case.
While A.J. Cole and Ryuta Konno turned in 1-2-3 innings, Yuta Kuroki and Taisuke Kondo each stranded a pair before Yakult broke through against rookie Hitomi Honda in a two-run eighth.
Tetsuto Yamada doubled and scored on Munetaka Murakami’s third hit. Murakami stole second and took third on a Jose Osuna single. Murakami, who’d been run out when he tried to abort his attempt to score on a fly out in the fourth, hesitated less on Shingo Kawabata’s lineout to right.
Noboru Shimizu pitched a 1-2-3 eighth for the Swallows, Yasutaka Shiomi’s ninth homer, off Kohei “K” Suzuki in the ninth made it 6-3, and Scott McGough pitched out of trouble in the ninth to get his xth save.
Marines 9, Dragons 6: At Chiba Marine Stadium, four walks by Chunichi starter Hiroshi Suzuki (0-1) doomed the Dragons in this one. Dayan Viciedo and Ariel Martinez each scored twice and hit a two-run homer. Viciedo went deep in the first, his seventh of the year, off Manabu Mima (3-4) but three Marines runners scored after receiving free passes from Suzuki en route to a 6-2 Lotte fourth-inning lead.
Martinez’s homer made it 6-4 in the sixth, when the game evolved into a parody of Second City TV’s sketch “Farm Celebrity Film Blow Up” with both bullpens racing to see how many runs they could give away before the game ended. Naoya Masuda, however, put an end to that silliness with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save.
Eagles 1, Carp 0, 10 innings: At Miyagi Stadium, superb defense from the Eagles kept the Carp off the board for 10 innings, while the Eagles stranded nine runners through eight innings. Makoto Kemna retired the Eagles in order in the ninth, and Sung Chia-hao (3-1) did the same to the Carp in the ninth.
Rookie Ryuma Matsumoto (0-1) walked Haruki Nishikawa to open the bottom of the 10th, the Eagles sacrificed him to second, which “forced” Carp manager Shinji Sasaoka to bring his outfield in, and Nishikawa cruised home when Hideto Asamura’s deep fly fell just beyond the reach of center fielder Takayoshi Noma for a game-winning double.
Thursday’s starting pitchers
Fighters vs BayStars: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Eagles vs Carp: Miyagi Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Lions vs Giants: Seibu Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Marines vs Dragons: Chiba Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Swallows: Osaka Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Hawks vs Tigers: Fukuoka Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 6/8/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/18