NPB wrap 5-23-21

Saturday’s news

Kiyota dishonorably discharged

The Pacific League’s Lotte Marines announced Sunday that they have voided the contract of outfielder Ikuhiro Kiyota, Nikkan Sports reported. The married outfielder was reinstated on May 1 from an indefinite suspension after a weekly magazine outed him for breaking coronavirus protocols while dining out with another woman in Sapporo last year immediately before the team suffered a coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, however, another report emerged, alleging further infidelities and that proved to be the last straw for the club.

“We made up our minds and have notified the player,” said the team’s director of communications, Noriaki Kajiwara. “We apologize to our supporters for the betrayal.”

Kuri next Carp player to test positive

The Hiroshima Carp, whose Central League games have been postponed since Friday following a slew of infections within the first team, added pitcher Allen Kuri to the infected list.

Buffaloes warn players over female hotel visitors

The Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes issued “strict warnings” to three players on Sunday, for inviting women to their hotel rooms in violation of coronavirus protocols while the team was in Tokyo on May 10 to play the Nippon Ham Fighters, Nikkan Sports reported.

The players who were outfielders Yutaro Sugimoto and Yuya Oda, and infielder Koji Oshiro. Sugimoto started Sunday’s games against the Hawks, while the other two, both reserves, started on the bench.

Hawks 7, Buffaloes 2

At Fukoka’s PayPay Dome, former Cub Tsuyoshi Wada (3-2) bounced back from three lousy starts to allow a run in 6-1/3 innings, while SoftBank built a 3-0 lead over four innings against Sachiya Yamasaki (1-5).

The Hawks’ Taisei Makihara reached base three times, scored the opening run in the first on a Yuya Yangita single and doubled in two runs in the four-run seventh before scoring again. Yuma Mune had two of Orix’s five hits, with a pair of doubles. He led off the seventh and scored on a Steven Moya sacrifice fly after Wada left the mound.

Fighters 10, Lions 3

At MetLife Dome, Nippon Ham’s Robbie Erlin (1-0) cut his ERA in half from 7.20 to 3.60 with five scoreless innings to earn his first win in Japan after the Fighters capitalized on both their scoring chances against Katsunori Hirai (3-2) who cruised through four of his first five innings, surrendering three runs in the third and two more in the sixth.

Erlin walked one, struck out six and surrendered five singles, while Haruki Nishikawa did most of the damage with a two-run third-inning double and a two-run eighth-inning single.

Eagles 6, Marines 5

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Rakuten broke the game open in a five-run sixth, with two runs scoring on an Eigoro Mogi double and three more on Brandon Dixon’s second homer. Rookie lefty Takahisa Hayakawa (6-2) allowed five runs over 6-2/3 innings to take the Japan lead in wins.

Leonys Martin tied the game 1-1 in the third with an RBI single, and hit his Japan-best 14th homer, a monstrous two-run shot in the seventh. Tomohhiro Anraku, Sung Chia-hao and Yuki Matsui finished up with Matsui earning his 13th save.

Marines starter Kazuya Ojima (1-2) allowed five runs in 5-1/3 innings to take the loss.

Swallows 10, BayStars 5

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Albert Suarez (2-2) allowed two runs, one earned, in six innings, while the Swallows gave DeNA ace Shota Imanaga (0-1) a trial by fire in his return from surgery last autumn to clean out his left shoulder. The southpaw surrendered six runs over 4-2/3 innings.

New import Jose Osuma homered, doubled, singled and scored three runs, while Yuhei “Get that good-hitting catcher out of the No. 2 spot” Nakamura tied it 1-1 in the Swallows’ three-run first with an RBI double.

Domingo Santa capped the rally with an RBI double and drew a pair of walks, while Munetaka Murakama hit his Central League-leading 13th home run for the Swallows.

Tyler Austin singled, walked twice and scored a run for the last-place BayStars.

Dragons 4, Giants 1

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi’s Opening Day starter Koji Fukutani (2-4) held Yomiuri to a run over six innings while striking out eight and singling in a run. Dayan Viciedo homered, singled, doubled and drove in two runs for the Dragons, who hung three runs on Giants lefty Nobutaka Imamura (2-2) in one-plus innings in what became a bullpen game for the visitors.

Raidel Martinez pitched the ninth for Chunichi to record his 13th save.

Active roster moves 5/23/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/2

Central League


DragonsP59Takumi Yamamoto
SwallowsP43Albert Suarez


TigersOF63Yutaro Itayama
DragonsP67Yariel Rodriguez
CarpP18Masato Morishita
CarpP34Koya Takahashi

Pacific League


HawksP21Tsuyoshi Wada
MarinesP43Kazuya Ojima
BuffaloesOF69Stefen Romero



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