NPB news: May 21, 2023

Yomiuri’s Foster Griffin had his obligatory good outing against Chunichi, two second-chancers had big games for their clubs, while another guy who badly needed a second chance but finally got playing time with the team that drafted him in 2013 also delivered. The red-and-black attack keeps rolling, a former closer threw a complete game, and a rookie named Morishita got the better of a former rookie of the year named Morishita.

Minor moves

On Friday, the SoftBank Hawks called up a minor league pitcher, which is not really news worthy, other than that the team ordered him pulled off the mound in his Western League game so he could report to the major league club.

Meanwhile, DeNA announced it was letting the team’s recent graduate of MLB’s domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse suspension program to pitch in the Eastern League Sunday against Lotte as a tune-up for his next start. He was not deactivated.

Saturday’s games

Giants 6, Dragons 2: At Tokyo Dome, Foster Griffin (4-1) held Chunichi to two runs over six innings to improve to 3-0 against the Dragons, who coughed up the game’s first run on one-out singles by Takumi Oshiro and Yuto Akihiro and an error by shortstop Ryuku Tsuchida.

Naoki Yoshikawa doubled off Shinnosuke Ogasawara (3-2) and scored on a Kazumasa Okamoto third-inning single, while Yoshikawa and Okamoto reached in the fourth and Takumi Oshiro followed with his sixth homer, and his first career grand slam.

Second-chancer Seiya Hosokawa had two doubles for the Dragons and scored on Takaya Ishikawa’s fourth home run, while the Giants bullpen didn’t make the game interesting for a change.

Marines 6, Eagles 1: At Miyagi Stadium, former closer Yuji Nishino (5-1) threw a 97-pitch three-hitter for his second career complete game. Takahiro Norimoto (1-3) pitched a scoreless first because right fielder Takero Okajima threw a runner out at the plate, but the defense helped him blow up the game in a four-run sixth.

Maikel Franco singled and scored the tying run for Rakuten in the fifth on a Daichi Suzuki double, the first two hits allowed by Nishino.

Rookie Lotte first baseman Raito Ikeda, who was out at home in the first but had four hits, singled to open the Marines’ sixth, and was sacrificed to second. An error put runners on the corners with one out. A Gregory Polanco sac fly broke the tie, Norimoto loaded the bases with two walks, and Katsuya Kakunaka reached for the third time with a two-run single to chase Norimoto.

DenialStars 5, Swallows 3: At Yokohama Stadium, Taiki Sekine, DeNA’s fifth round draft pick in 2013 who for some reason got an opportunity to play this season after years of producing on the farm without being noticed, doubled and singled, drove in three runs, including two in the seventh to break a 2-2 tie to raise his average to .371, while Munetaka Murakami missed fat pitches and swung at bad ones, striking out twice to help snuff out Yakult scoring opportunities in the first and third inning.

Soma Uchikawa, Yakult’s reserve catcher and part-time outfielder, tied the game 2-2 by homering for the third straight game, off Robert Gsellman, in the fourth. Like Swallows lefty Dillon Peters, Gsellman allowed two runs over five and didn’t figure in the decision as Yakult lost its fourth straight.

New import J. B. Wendelken (1-0) earned the win in relief.

DeNA-Yakult highlights

Fighters 5, Buffaloes 3: At Kyocera Dome, the red-and-black attack struck again as Nippon Ham caught a break and squared off against a Buffaloes bullpen day after ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto developed a fever and was scratched from his start.

Substitute starter Daichi Takeyasu (0-1) pitched out of a first-inning bases-loaded jam but left after issuing a leadoff walk in the second, and Yuki James Nomura hit a two-run double to put the Fighters in front. Koki Kitayama (2-2) allowed a run over five innings, Chusei Mannami hit a solo homer, his sixth, and Seigi Tanaka, the Fighters’ sixth pitcher, registered his sixth save.

Tigers 1, Carp 0: At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin’s second-chancer Kotaro Otake battled former rookie of the year Masato Morishita (0-1) to a draw for seven innings, Yuta Iwasada worked a scoreless eighth for Hanshin, and Suguru Iwazaki (2-0) worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the win.

Yusuke Oyama doubled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Hanshin’s top signing in last year’s draft, Shota Morishita, singled to left off his namesake, who took the complete-game loss. Left fielder Ryoma Nishikawa had a good chance to throw out Oyama, but couldn’t do it.

DeNA-Yakult highlights

Lions 1, Hawks 0: At Fukuoka Dome, Seibu’s Kona Takahashi matched Nao Higashihama for six shutout innings, before Shuta Tonosaki singled in the tie-breaking run in the seventh.

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