Roki night was nothing to celebrate for the Lotte Marines, who failed to score for their youngster, while the Central League and Pacific League leaders squared off, a game soon became a question of whether or not we’d see a player hit four homers in one game for the first time since 2003.
We also had three complete games, one of which came within a hair of being a shutout and the other where the biggest lapse for the winning team was a two-run error.
Shall we get started?
Swallows 8, Eagles 1: At Miyagi Stadium, Yasutaka Shiomi hit three home runs in his first three at-bats, and then decried his lack of skill that prevented him from becoming the sixth player to hit four homers in a Japanese major league game.
“I had good pitches to hit (after the third home run) but I need to practice more,” he said.
Keiji Takahashi (4-1) struck out 10 over eight innings without issuing a walk, while Rakuten starter Ryota Takinaka (1-4) coughed up six runs, and four homers in his five innings.
Fighters 3, Giants 2: At Sapporo Dome, Daiki Asama tripled in one run in Nippon Ham’s two-run third, and broke up a tie game with an eighth-inning solo homer, his third, after Yomiuri tied it on two two-out hits and right fielder Chusei Mannami’s two-run error.
Naoyuki Uwasawa (4-4) and Giants starter Shosei Togo (5-3) each struck out eight and went the distance. Uwasawa allowed three hits and walked two.
Tigers 1, Marines 0: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Aaron Wilkerson (4-2) went eight innings, and Teruaki Sato hit his 11th home run in the ninth inning off closer Naoya Masuda (0-1) as Hanshin outlasted Roki Sasaki.
The 20-year-old right-hander had kind of an off night, unable to locate on the edges of the plate and leaving some straight fastballs in the zone, but hung on for six scoreless innings.
The Marines got out of fourth-inning jam, started when Sasaki failed to grab a tough grounder near the line for an error. With one out and a runner on third, Lotte retired the lead runner on a sharp grounder from Sato 4-2-5-3, and when Sato thought about going to third on the run down, was caught between third and second, the double play going 4-2-5-3-4-6-8.
Dragons 4, Buffaloes 1: At Osaka Dome, Dayan Viciedo hit a two-run fourth-inning home run, his fifth, and Yudai Ono (3-4) lost his shutout with two outs in the ninth. Joe McCarthy fell behind 0-2 but singled off a 3-2 pitch to get the Buffaloes on the board.
Hawks 7, Carp 0: At Fukuoka Dome, SoftBank clubbed Daichi Osera (5-2) for five runs over five innings, while Colin Rea (3-2) went seven and Koya Fujii pitched the remaining two innings to complete the three-hitter.
BayStars 1, Lions 0: At Seibu Dome, Kona Takahashi (4-4) hit Shugo Maki to open the seventh, and the BayStars star scored the game’s only run on a Daiki Sekine single. Shinichi Onuki (3-2) struck out seven over 7-1/3 innings, walked three, hit a batter and allowed three singles, Edwin Escobar got the BayStars out of the eighth, and Yasuaki Yamasaki worked around the fourth walk of the game drawn by Lions cleanup hitter Hotaka Yamakawa to earn his eighth save.
Saturday’s starting pitchers
Fighters vs Giants: Sapporo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT
Eagles vs Swallows: Miyagi Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT
Lions vs BayStars: Seibu Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT
Marines vs Tigers: Chiba Marine Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Dragons: Osaka Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT
Hawks vs Carp: Fukuoka Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT
Active roster moves 5/27/2022
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/6