Okamoto goes boom
Giants 7, Swallows 5
At Tokyo Dome, Kazuma Okamoto, the Central League’s 2020 home run and RBI leader, made up for helping to kill a couple of early Yomiuri rallies by homering in the eighth to make it a one-run game and ending it with a three-run walk-off shot against Yakult closer Taichi Ishiyama (0-2).
Zelous Wheeler had two hits for the Giants, while Domingo Santana singled in a run in the eighth, when the Swallows scored four to take Sneed off the hook.
Tigers 3, BayStars 2
At Yokohama Stadium, 39-year-old former Japan international Yoshio Itoi got his second start of the season for Hanshin and did what he did in his first start on Friday, homer. His two-run shot capped a three-run Tigers fifth off Michael Peoples (1-1), who had retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced.
Rookie wunderkind Teruaki Sato opened the fifth with a walk, scored the tying run on a Jerry Sands double, and Itoi put the CL leaders in front. Joe Gunkel started for the Tigers and allowed a run in three innings, but after having runners on second and third with no outs in the BayStars’ scoreless third – following a leadoff double by Peoples, the right-hander left the game.
Gunkel is set to be deactivated on Monday with what appears to be stiffness in his right shoulder.
Hanshin’s bullpen, allowed one run over the final five innings, a homer from leadoff man Masayuki Kuwahara, who doubled and scored the game’s opening run in the first, but that was it. Robert Suarez recorded his ninth save.
Neftali Soto doubled twice for DeNA but was stranded both times.
Dragons 2, Carp 0
At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi’s Yuya Yanagi (3-1) allowed two hits and a walk – all with two outs in the third inning, but struck out 11. Dayan Viciedo broke up the scoreless game with his fifth home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, and Raidel Martinez pitched around a pair of one-out ninth-inning singles to record his fifth save.
Yanagi’s 1.72 ERA is .01 back of the league leader, Yuki Takahashi of the Giants, while the Dragons right-hander leads the CL in innings, 47, strikeouts, 58, and WHIP, 0.77.
Hawks 3, Lions 1
At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Yuki Yanagita doubled and scored SoftBank’s first run in 21 innings to tie it in the sixth off Seibu’s Katsunori Hirai, and then singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh. SoftBank starter Yuki Matsumoto allowed the first two runners to reach in each of the first two innings but retired the next nine hitters and his bullpen colleagues maintained that pace with Livan Moinelo getting his third save.
Eagles 6, Fighters 3
At Sapporo Dome, Ryosuke Tatsumi hit a game-tying fifth-inning home run off former teammate Takahide Ikeda (2-4), and kick started Rakuten’s three-run sixth with a one-out infield single as Eagles’ rookie Takahisa Hayakawa (4-2) earned the win after allowing two runs over five innings.
Four walks lost it for Ikeda, traded to Nippon Ham in March, allowed three runs, two earned, in 4-2/3 innings. Fighters lefty Ryusei Kawano struck out Brandon Dixon to leave the bases loaded in the fifth, but first-year import Robbie Erlin let the game get away with three runs over two innings.
Taiwan’s Wang Po-jung doubled, singled and walked in the No. 3 spot for the Fighters, making the third straight game he’s looked like the guy they expected to see in 2019 after they signed him via the posting system.
Rakuten lefty Yuki Matsui worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his ninth save, making him the 16th player with 150 career saves.
Marines 7, Buffaloes 4
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Leonys Martin spearheaded the Lotte Marines counterattack after Kazuya Ojima (1-1) allowed three runs in the first. Ojima went five innings, and the Marines bullpen allowed a run over the final four, with closer Naoya Masuda notching his eighth save.
Orix starter Hirotoshi Masui (1-4) gave up five runs, four earned, in 3-2/3 innings. Back-to-back first-inning doubles by Takashi Ogino and Martin made it 3-1, and Brandon Laird’s two-out single plated Martin. Lotte tied it in the second on reserve catcher Tomoya Kakinuma’s first home run and scored with the help of an error in the third to take the lead.
Active roster moves 5/9/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/19