Welcome to Tie-land
There were three ties on Wednesday, and while I wish there weren’t, it’s hard to complain about five entertaining games that were (or weren’t) decided by a total of two runs.
Hawks 8, Marines 8
At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Lotte closer Naoya Masuda held off SoftBank in the ninth after the Marines scored twice with the help of a leadoff error against Livan Moinelo in the ninth.
The Marines came back from an early 3-0 deficit in a six-run fifth, when they chased Tsuyoshi Wada in an inning that included a Leonys Martin RBI double and Brandon Laird’s third home run in two days, a three-run shot. Lotte starter Daiki Iwashita allowed three runs over five innings, but the Hawks saved their knockout blow for Frank Herrmann, who was floored in a five-run seventh.
Yuki Yanagita, who hit his seventh home run, a two-run shot in the third, doubled in a run in the seventh, when Takuya Kai capped the rally with a two-run home run, his fourth.
Laird reached in the ninth on a leadoff error. A walk, a sacrifice, an Adeiny Hechavarria pinch-hit RBI single and a Takashi Ogino sac fly tied it before Moinelo struck out Martin, ending an epic at-bat with a swing and miss on a 3-2 curveball.
Eagles 4, Lions 3
At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Seibu’s Zach Neal (0-1) worked six innings in his season debut and paid the price for one bad one, as Rakuten scored all four runs in the fourth with Hiroaki Shimauchi driving in two runs with a triple to tie before scoring the go-ahead run. Eigoro Mogi then tripled and scored the fourth run on a squeeze.
Rakuten starter Takahiro Norimoto (3-1) allowed three runs over seven innings, while striking out 10 and walking one. He gave up the early lead in the fourth on Hotaka Yamakawa’s third homer, a two-run shot.
Fighters 2, Buffaloes 1
At Tokyo Dome, Nippon Ham’s Wang Po-Jung resumed normal service after a hitless game on Tuesday resumed his resurgence with a homer, a double, an RBI and two runs scored off Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-4).
Takayuki Kato (3-0) allowed four singles while allowing no walks and striking out five over seven innings. Takahiro Okada homered for the second straight game with his third of the season off Bryan Rodriguez in the eighth. Kato stranded two runners in the sixth, Mizuki Hori did the same in the eighth and closer Toshihiro Sugiura did again in the ninth for his eighth save.
Swallows 0, Carp 0
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult lefty Kazuto Taguchi survived scares in the first two innings to work seven as he battled 2020 Central League rookie of the year Masato Morishita to a draw. The Hiroshima right-hander pitched out of a one-out, two-on jam in the seventh before making his exit.
Hiroshima’s Kevin Cron and Yakult’s Jose Osuna each doubled with two outs late in the game but neither club was able to make a dent. Rookie carp closer Ryoji Kuribayashi struck out three in the ninth to notch his 16th straight game without allowing a run.
Yakult’s Scott McGough worked a 1-2-3 eighth to turn the game over to Swallows closer Taichi Ishiyama.
BayStars 5, Giants 5
At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA closer Kazuki Mishima surrendered two runs in the ninth for the second straight night against Yomiuri. A night after blowing a ninth-inning tie on back-to-back home runs, Mishima surrendered a game-tying two-run shot, Kazuma Okamoto’s eighth home run of the year.
The BayStars overturned a 5-2 deficit in the eighth on a two-run shot by Neftali Soto, his fourth, and a solo blast by rookie Shugo Maki, his eighth. The BayStars got a gift in the ninth, when Masayuki Kuwahara’s pop behind first base was not caught for the final out. But Kuwahara, who should have cruised into second, was stuck on first because he failed to bust it down the line and died there when lefty Kota Nakagawa ended the game with a strikeout.
Tigers vs Dragons, rained out
Swallows vs Carp: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT
BayStars vs Giants: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Tigers vs Dragons: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 5/12/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/22