NPB news: Sept. 1, 2023

It was rookies-torment-Swallows day at Jingu Stadium, shoe-on-the-other-foot day at Seibu Half Dome, while Orlando Calixte had a breakout game, hitting his first two homers in Japan, while Kazuma Okamoto provided the only highlight for Yomiuri with his 200th home run, and Gregory Polanco picked up where he left off from August.

Friday’s games

Fighters 3, Buffaloes 0: At Kitahiroshima Taxpayers Burden Field: Naoyuki Uwasawa (8-7) allowed three hits and a walk over the distance while striking out seven as Orix was shut out for the second straight day. Former Buffalo Torai Fushimi crushed a straight 3-1 fastball down the pipe from Sachiya Yamasaki (9-4) for his third home run. Go Matsumoto singled and scored in the third and did so again in the eighth for the Fighters.

Tigers 4, Swallows 2: At Jingu Stadium, rookie right-hander Shoki Murakami (9-5) struck out nine over seven scoreless innings to lower his CL-leading ERA to 1.79, and rookie outfielder Shota Morishita hit a pair of solo homers before the Swallows broke up the shutout in the eighth inning. Yakult starter Elvin Rodriguez (1-3) allowed three runs, one earned, over six innings.

Dragons 5, Carp 3: At New Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Orlando Calixte homered twice, singled and scored three runs, including the eighth-inning tie-breaker on his second homer of the game. Calixte singled and scored on a first-inning Takaya Ishikawa single, and made it 2-0 in the third with his first Japan homer before Seiya Hosokawa hit his 19th of the season.

Kaito Kozono homered to open Hiroshima’s fourth, and singled to lead off the Carp’s two-run sixth. With two outs in the eighth, Ishikawa doubled to set up a Dragons insurance run.

Marines 5, Eagles 0: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Gregory Polanco, who hit eight home runs in August, got a head start on his September tally with a two-run tie-breaking shot off Takayuki Kishi (5-5) in the seventh. Koki Yamaguchi followed Polanco’s 21st with his 12th. Shingo Usami, who got the Marines’ first hit, in the fifth inning, singled again to chase Kishi, who allowed four runs in six-plus.

Former Eagle Manabu Mima (2-7) struck out seven over seven innings.

Deniers 9, Giants 3: At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA catcher Yudai Yamamoto hit a two-run second-inning homer off Shosei Togo (10-5) who failed to work five innings for the second straight game while allowing at least five. Katsuki Azuma (12-2) allowed three runs over seven innings, while DeNA turned it into a rout in a four-run seventh inning that included back-to-back homers from Shugo Maki and Toshiro Miyzaki, who returned to the lineup after being out for 11 days.

Kazuma Okamoto returned from COVID deactivation and hit his NPB-leading 35th home run, making him the 114th player with 200 career homers in Japan.

Lions 6, Hawks 0: At Seibu Half Dome, Shuta Ishikawa (4-6), who no-hit Seibu the last time he faced the Lions on Aug. 18, gave up six runs in four innings. Kaima Taira (9-6), who got beat up on Aug. 18, threw seven scoreless innings. Takumi Kuriyama walked to load the bases and scored in the Lions’ three-run first, and hit a three-run home run in fourth.

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