Interleague Day 15 PL goes in front
The Pacific League, which has led the Central League in interleague wins in 14 of the 15 previous interleague tournaments, and led the CL in runs scored in all 15, went 4-1-1 on Thursday to take their first lead this year with basically seven series remaining, six over the weekend at PL parks and three coronavirus makeup games from Monday to Wednesday in Hiroshima, giving the Carp a stretch of nine straight games.
The PL now leads in runs scored 400-353.
As a result of Thursday’s games, the Orix Buffaloes and PL-leading Rakuten Eagles took over the interleague lead with 9-5-1 records with the Chunichi Dragons a half-game back at 8-5-2. The Eagles will be at home when their interleague ends with a series against the CL-leading Hanshin Tigers, so it should be fun.
Yamaguchi to Giants
Shun Yamaguchi, the first player ever posted by the Giants — in a bizarre situation in which some of the team’s top executives were unaware they’d signed a free agent with a contractual obligation to post him — will return to the Giants after playing a handful of games for the San Francisco Giants’ Triple-A club.
Tigers 4, Fighters 2
At Sapporo Dome, Nippon Ham’s Robbie Erlin (1-2) put in a decent start, allowing a run over 4-1/3 innings, while Hanshin’s Raul Alcantara (2-1) held the Fighters scoreless through six-plus, leaving after a batted ball struck him on the ankle to open the seventh.
Rookie Takumu Nakano reached base four times and singled in the game’s first run in the fifth inning. Koji Chikamoto made it 2-0 with his fourth home run in the seventh.
Jefry Marte reached doubled and reached base three times, while Jerry Sands, playing first for a change, turned a nifty double play, had two singles and an RBI.
The Fighters scored a run off closer Robert Suarez and threatened but he made his escape with a double play to record his Japan-best 19th save.
Eagles 6, Dragons 2
At Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten leadoff man Hiroto Kobukata scored four runs, while No. 2 hitter Daichi Suzuki scored twice and drove in two with his third home run. Ryota Takinaka (5-2) allowed a two runs over five innings to earn the win, while Chunichi’s Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-4) gave up four over four.
Lions 5, BayStars 3
At MetLife Dome, it seems I need a word processor that appends every Lions player with the word “rookie” after rookie Junichiro Kishi led off the bottom of the first with a game-tying home run, his third, had three hits, scored twice and drove in two to help 39-year-old lefty Tetsuya Utsumi (1-0) earn the win after allowing three runs in five innings.
BayStars rookie Shugo Maki hit a two-run homer, his 11th, in the fourth to make it a 4-3 game but Takumi Kuriyama singled home Kishi in the home half. Yuya Sakamoto (1-2) took the loss after allowing four runs in 2-2/3 innings.
Seibu’s Kaima Taira tied the NPB record by pitching his 31st straight scoreless outing since the start of the season and earning his fifth save.
Marines 2, Swallows 1
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami took over the Japan home run lead with his 18th of the season, off 19-year-old rookie Roki Sasaki, who allowed a run over six innings – his longest pro start – while touching 155 kph (96.3 mph) in the first inning and sitting easily at 95 mph.
Brandon Laird broke up the 1-1 tie with his 15th home run, off Noboru Shimizu (0-3) in the eighth inning, while Naoya Masuda worked the ninth for his 16th save.
Cy Sneed started for Yakult and allowed one unearned run in five innings, although he twice left the bases loaded.
Buffaloes 6, Giants 0
At Osaka‘s Kyocera Dome, Orix’s Sachiya Yamasaki (2-5) walked one, hit two and allowed four hits over six innings, and the Buffaloes bullpen held the Giants to one hit the rest of the way.
Yomiuri’s Yuki Takahashi (6-2) had two bad innings, surrendering three in the first with Yutaro Sugimoto doubling in two, and three in the fifth on Takahiro Okada’s seventh home run.
Hawks 1, Carp 1
At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, 22-year-old Hawks leadoff man Masaki Mimori went 4-for-4 and tripled in the tying run in the eighth inning to take Colin Rea off the hook after he allowed a run Kevin Cron’s sixth home run in the third inning. Rea struck out seven and allowed four hits but no walks.
Sho Iwasaki worked a scoreless ninth to keep the Carp from winning. Hiroshima starter Shogo Tamamura went six innings, and rookie Daisuke Moriura worked the seventh before Takuya Kai singled to leadoff the eighth against Atsuya Horie.
The Hawks threatened to end rookie Ryoji Kuribayashi’s run of scoreless games since his debut, but stranded two runners when he struck out rookie pinch-hitter Tatsuru Yanagimachi to run his streak to 22 games.
Fighters vs BayStars: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Chihiro Kaneko (0-2, 4.50) vs Haruhiro Hamaguchi (3-4, 3.00)
Eagles vs Tigers: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Hideaki Wakui (6-3, 4.08) vs Koyo Aoyagi (4-2, 2.31)
Lions vs Dragons: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Kona Takahashi (5-1, 3.79) vs Yudai Ono (2-4, 3.45)
Marines vs Giants: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Fumiya Motomae (1-1, 7.07) vs C.C. Mercedes (1-0, 0.00)
Buffaloes vs Carp: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Yoshinobu Yamamoto (5-5, 2.29) vs Haruki Omichi (2-0, 3.20)
Hawks vs Swallows: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Shuta Ishikawa (3-4, 3.12) vs Masanori Ishikawa (1-1, 2.70)
Active roster moves 6/10/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/20