NPB wrap 6-18-21

Revenge of the cellar dwellers

The Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes and Central League’s Yakult Swallows came out of interleague on a roll and both won Friday, leaving two teams who finished last in each of the last two seasons in sole possession of second place.

Friday’s games had an old-school look with all 12 starting pitchers getting a decision. I’ll bet that doesn’t happen too often anymore.

Eagles 5, Buffaloes 2

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Yutaro Sugimoto hit his 14th home run and doubled in a run, while Steven Moya drove in two with his seventh and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (7-5) allowed two runs, one earned, over six innings. Three relievers each worked a scoreless inning for the Buffaloes, with Tyler Higgins doing the job in the eighth and Yoshihisa Hirano earning his sixth save.

Hideaki Wakui (6-5) allowed five runs over four innings to take the loss as the Eagles’ PL lead shrank to a run over the Buffaloes, who jumped from third to second by winning their seventh straight decision.

Fighters 2, Hawks 1

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-2) allowed three hits and four walks over the distance, while Daiki Asama and Kazunari Ishii homered for last-place Nippon Ham.

Shuta Ishikawa (3-6) allowed both runs over six-plus innings.

Marines 5, Lions 0

At MetLife Dome, Daiki Iwashita (5-4) struck out seven over six innings, while Katsuya Kakunaka and Yudai Fujioka each scored two runs for Lotte. Hisanori Yasuda had a pair of RBI singles, while Shogo Nakamura hit his fourth homer.

Kona Takahashi (5-3) allowed two runs over six innings to take the loss.

Swallows 5, Dragons 2

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s 41-year-old lefty Masanori Ishikawa (3-1) delivered his third straight solid start, allowing two runs over six innings, while allowing five hits and no walks. Munetaka Murakami hit a two-run homer in the first, his Japan-leading 21st, and Jose Osuna hit a three-run homer in the sixth, his fourth. Three Swallows relievers worked 1-2-3 innings with Scott McGough striking out two in the ninth as he earned his 12th save.

Yuya Yanagi (5-3) after a nearly flawless start to the season, allowed five runs in back-to-back starts. Naomichi Donoue hit his second homer and Shohei Kato hit his first in the CL after the Dragons acquired him in a mid-week trade from Lotte.

Tigers 7, Giants 1

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin’s Jerry Sands cracked open the scoring in a three-run second inning with the second of four Tigers doubles off Cristopher Crisostomo Mercedes (2-1). Sands also hit his 13th home run, a grand slam, to ice it in the third inning, as Yuki Nishi (4-3) scattered four walks, a hit batsman and five hits to allow just one run over seven innings.

Carp 7, BayStars 4

At Tokyo Dome, 20-year-old rookie Hiroshima lefty Shogo Tamamura (1-3) allowed two runs over seven while striking out 10 and singled in a run in the second to tie it 1-1 as he earned his first pro win in a game hosted by DeNA at Tokyo Dome as their home park is being prepared to host the Olympic baseball and softball tournament.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Eagles vs Buffaloes: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Masahiro Tanaka (2-4, 2.90) vs Hiroya Miyagi (6-1, 2.31)

Lions vs Marines: MetLife Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Tatsuya Imai (4-2, 2.53) vs Toshiya Nakamura (0-1, 3.15)

Hawks vs Fighters: PayPay Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Nick Martinez (5-1, 2.20) vs Kazuaki Tateno (0-0, 1.80)

Central League

Swallows vs Dragons: Jingu Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Yasuhiro Ogawa (6-1, 3.33) vs Shinnosuke Ogasawara (4-2, 2.22)

BayStars vs Carp: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Michael Peoples (2-2, 4.66) vs Masato Morishita (3-4, 2.35)

Tigers vs Giants: Koshien Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Masashi Ito (4-3, 2.52) vs Shosei Togo (6-3, 4.22)

Active roster moves 6/18/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/28

Central League


GiantsIF93Hayato Hirama
GiantsOF8Yoshihiro Maru
TigersP13Suguru Iwazaki
DragonsOF52Shohei Kato
CarpOF55Ryuhei Matsuyama



Pacific League


HawksC65Ryuhei Kuki
MarinesP24Yusuke Azuma
MarinesC66Takuma Kato
MarinesOF38Akito Takabe
LionsIF6Sosuke Genda
EaglesP31Yuya Fukui
EaglesIF34Tsuyoshi Yamasaki


LionsIF4Kakeru Yamanobe

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