Buffaloes stampede to 10th straight win
OK, not exactly their 10th straight win, because this is Japan there was a tie, but ties are essentially ignored, Orix’s streak of winning 10 straight decisions is their longest such streak since 1997 — when they were known as the BlueWave, and one year removed from the franchise’s last Japan championship behind MVP Ichiro Suzuki
Buffaloes 5, Fighters 2
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Nobuyoshi Yamada worked 2-2/3 scoreless innings of relief after pitching out of a one-out bases-loaded jam in the first inning, when Orix starter Taisuke Yamaoka let in a run on a leadoff single and three straight one-out walks.
Nippon Ham starter Drew VerHagen (1-6) was the unfortunate looser in a game in which he pitched well, allowing two runs on three walks and three hits over 5-1/3 innings. Takahiro Okada tied the game in the second with his eighth home run, and Yuma Mune energized two late Buffaloes rallies. He singled, stole a base and scored in the sixth, capped by Yutaro Sugimoto’s two-run double.
Mune doubled in an insurance run in the seventh, and Sugiura singled in another in the eighth to make it 5-2. Buffaloes manager Satoshi Nakajima gave his top-tier relievers a break and the other guys got the job done, in precarious fashion.
Hawks 6, Marines 4
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Colin Rea (1-0) dodged five walks worth of bullets to allow one run on two hits over six hits and earn his first win in Japan. SoftBank’s leadoff man Masaki Mimori and No. 9 hitter Nobuhiro Matsuda each scored a pair of runs, while No. 2 hitter Akira Nakamura had a pair of sac flies, and No. 3 hitter Yuki Yanagita had a sac fly and two-run home run, his 16th, to make it a 6-1 game in the seventh.
Shogo Nakamura hit a two-run homer in the eighth, his fifth, and Tsuyoshi Sugano made it less of a blowout with a solo homer off Sho Iwasaki, who recorded his first save, in the ninth Lotte starter Kota Futaki (3-4) allowed all six SoftBank runs.
Lions 2, Eagles 0
At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Aito Takeda accounted for all the scoring with a two-out two-run, fourth-inning home run, his eighth, off former Lions ace Takayuki Kishi (3-5). Kishi lasted six innings, striking out six while walking two and allowing six hits.
Wataru Matsumoto (6-3) struck out nine over eight innings. He walked four and gave up three hits. Kaima Taira stranded two runners in the ninth to earn his eighth save.
Tigers 2, Dragons 1
At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi’s Sawamura Award-winning lefty Yudai Ono (3-5) gave Hanshin one scoring chance, and they made the most of it. A one-out Teruaki Sato double and a Jerry Sands walk set the table for back-to-back RBI singles by captain Kento Itohara and catcher Ryutaro Umeno.
Sato’s double was off the top of the wall at Nagoya Dome and would have been a home run at every other park in Japan except Sapporo Dome, where it would have hit the wall, or Koshien, where it would have been caught for an out because of the park’s massive power allies.
Side-armer Koyo Aoyagi (6-2) allowed an unearned run over seven innings, Suguru Iwazaki worked the eighth and Robert Suarez the ninth for his 22nd save.
Giants 6, BayStars 1
At Ishikawa Prefectural Stadium, Yomiuri’s Angel Sanchez (5-4) allowed a run over six innings, allowing six hits and hitting a batter while striking out six, while Yoshihiro Maru and career minor leaguer Takumi Kitamura each hit three-run homers. Maru’s was his sixth.
Swallows 6, Carp 1
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima ace Daichi Osera (2-3) surrendered four runs, one earned, in the second inning and gave up two more before leaving after six. Lefty Kazuto Taguchi (4-4) gave up nine hits but no walks over seven innings while allowing one run.
Osera kept the Swallows’ big guns quiet but his error on Taguchi’s one-out sacrifice in the second opened the door for three runs to score.
Lions vs Eagles: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Marines vs Hawks: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Fighters: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs BayStars: Toyama Alpen Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Dragons vs Tigers: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Carp vs Swallows: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 6/22/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/2