Let there be Roki
I wanted to put this out in case anyone else beside me missed it. Lotte Marines pitcher Roki Sasaki, who was clocked at over 101 mph in a national team training camp in 2019, and was a highly sought-after prospect in that year’s draft, will make his first-team debut on Sunday against the Seibu Lions at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium.
After not pitching in a single game last season, Sasaki has thrown in five Eastern League games this spring with a 0.45 ERA over 20 innings. He’s given up 10 hits, including a home run, while striking out 19, walking three and hitting two.
Sands blast lifts Tigers
Tigers 2, Dragons 1
At Koshien Stadium, the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers came from a run down in the seventh against Yariel Rodriguez, who was making his season debut for the Chunichi Dragons, and Jerry Sands blasted his ninth home run in the eighth, off setup man Katsuki Matayoshi (0-1) to give the hosts the lead.
Tigers right-hander Takumi Akiyama held the Dragons to a run, on Takuya Kinoshita’s fourth home run in the second. He had to pitch out of a seventh-inning jam after back-to-back no-out singles. His teammates, who wasted two-out hits by Akiyama and Koji Chikamoto because catcher Ryutaro Umeno was caught stealing, got it right in the seventh.
After a two-out walk, rookie pinch-runner Takahiro Kumagai stole second and scored on Chikamoto’s bouncing single up the middle.
Robert Suarez entered in the ninth and earned his 10th save with the help of a good play at short from rookie Takumu Nakano to rob Dayan Viciedo of a leadoff infield single.
Swallows vs Carp, rained out
BayStars vs Giants, rained out
Fighters vs Hawks: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Marines vs Lions: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Eagles: Hotto Motto Field 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs Tigers: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Dragons vs Swallows: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Carp vs BayStars: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 5/13/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/23