NPB wrap 5-20-21

Orix asks for waivers on Dickson

The Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes said Thursday they have asked for waivers on veteran right-hander Brandon Dickson, and Daily Sports reported the team is in talks to acquire Glenn Sparkman. The 29-year-old right-hander, currently in Triple-A for the Minnesota Twins, has pitched in 52 major league games, mostly with the Kansas City Royals.

The 36-year-old Dickson, the elder statesman of Nippon Professional Baseball’s active imported pitchers, was entering his ninth season, but according to the team has declined to travel to Japan without his family after playing the 2020 season with them in the States.

Dickson has pitched in 215 games, mostly as a starter. He is 49-58 with a 3.32 ERA for the Buffaloes with 34 saves and 10 holds. Non-residents were blocked from entering Japan from the middle of January to the end of March.

Sparkman started 23 games for the Royals in 2019, when he went 4-11 with a 6.02 ERA over 136 innings.

Taiwan Day

Pacific League Marketing, which operates PL TV, and has targeted the league’s market in Taiwan with various events here and there, had an impromptu promotion Thursday as the first runs in both games played came on home runs by Taiwan nationals.

Wu Nien-ting, who joined the Seibu Lions through the draft after playing amateur ball in Japan and is a domestically registered player, hit his third home run, while the Nippon Ham Fighters’ head start came from their Taiwan import, Wang Po-jung, who hit his third home run and drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in the team’s first two runs after singling in both of their runs on Wednesday.

Lions 7, Hawks 2

At MetLife Dome, Zach Neal (1-1) pitched like the Zach Neal who went 12-1 in 2019, walking one, striking out four and allowing one run over six innings. Wu Nien-ting and Takumi Kuriyama homered for the Lions against Shuta Ishikawa (2-3), while Cory Spangenberg reached base three times and scored twice.

Wladimir Balentien doubled twice and scored both of the Hawks’ runs.

Fighters 4, Eagles 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Nippon Ham right-hander Takahide Ikeda (2-4, 3.31) reminded Rakuten that he was the one who got away, allowing a run over six innings for the Fighters, who acquired him in a March trade. He allowed a run over six innings but left with the game tied 1-1. The Fighters scored three runs after a one-out single and a sacrifice when reliever Hiroyuki Fukuyama walked three straight before surrendering a two-run Ryo Watanabe single.

Ryota Takinaka started for the Eagles and delivered his fourth straight serviceable start, allowing a run over 5-2/3 innings.

BayStars vs Dragons, Rained out, again…

Tigers vs Swallows, Rained out

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Lions vs Fighters: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Kona Takahashi (4-0, 2.60) vs Hiromi Ito (1-3, 2.89)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Ayumu Ishikawa (2-1, 4.24) vs Hideaki Wakui (4-2, 3.02)

Central League

Swallows vs BayStars: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Rick van den Hurk (-) vs Fernando Romero (0-2, 6.23)

Dragons vs Giants: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Yudai Ono (2-2, 2.93) vs Seishu Hatake (2-2, 3.58)

Carp vs Tigers: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Masato Morishita (3-3, 1.84) vs Takumi Akiyama (3-2, 3.13)

Active roster moves 5/20/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/30

Central League


BayStarsP21Shota Imanaga


GiantsP21Shoichi Ino
GiantsP59Toyoki Tanaka

Pacific League


EaglesP57Ryota Takinaka
FightersP52Takahide Ikeda



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