NPB wrap 6-23-21

Orix streak reaches 11

The Buffaloes became the first team owned by Orix to win 11 consecutive decisions on Wednesday, when their winning streak became the franchise’s longest since 1984, when the franchise, then known as the Hankyu Braves, were on their way to the PL pennant led by triple crown-winner Boomer Wells.

NPB ‘time off’ means ‘work’

Nippon Professional Baseball, which has no official games between July 14, the start of the all-star series break, and Aug. 12 after the end of the Tokyo Olympics, announced Wednesday that its teams have scheduled 58 exhibitions with fans in the stands during that time.

Buffaloes sign Sparkman

The Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes announced the signing of 29-year-old right-hander Glenn Sparkman on Wednesday. Sparkman was 4-14 with a 5.99 ERA in 52 major league games, of which he started 26 with 23 of those coming for the Kansas City Royals in 2019.

Buffaloes 3, Fighters 1

At Osaka‘s Kyocera Dome, rookie Kotaro Kurebayashi broke up a scoreless tie by leading off the third inning with Orix’s first hit, his fifth homer of the year, off Takahide Ikeda (3-7), who surrendered Masataka Yoshida’s 13th with two outs in the inning. Yutaro Sugimoto hit his 15th in the sixth inning to make it a 2-1 game.

Lefty Daiki Tajima (4-4) allowed a run over 5-2/3 innings while striking out eight, walking one and giving up six hits. Yang Chi, Tyler Higgins, and Yoshihisa Hirano finished up with one scoreless inning apiece with Hirano earning his ninth save.

Eagles 6, Lions 4

At MetLife Dome, Masahiro Tanaka (3-4) allowed four runs over six innings and earned his first win since May 1 after the Rakuten Eagles came from behind with two runs in the seventh against Lions rookie Yutaro Watanabe (0-1).

Tomohito Sakai, Sung Chia-hao and Yuki Matsui finished up for the Eagles with Matsui notching his 19th save. Tanaka struck out seven, walked one, hit one, and gave up eight hits. Takero Okajima brought the Eagles from behind in the seventh with a two-run triple.

Marines 1, Hawks 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Nobuhiro Matsuda tied it up with his eighth home run in the third. Lotte’s Frank Herrmann struck out the side in the seventh, and SoftBank loaded the bases with one out in the eighth against Chihaya Sasaki,, but the right-hander Olympians Yuki Yanagita and Ryoya Kurihara to escape the jam.

Lotte rookie Shota Suzuki went six innings, while SoftBank’s Nao Higashihama worked six-plus.

Dragons 6, Tigers 2

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Hanshin’s Teruaki Sato scored twice, tying the game 2-2 in the sixth with his 19th home run, which tied a record if you believe the nonsense Japan’s media pumps out. Unfortunately, Shintaro Fujinami (3-2) surrendered four runs in the seventh as Chunichi blew the game out of the water.

Fujinami walked Dayan Viciedo with the bases loaded before surrendering a three-run double to Naomichi Donoue. Chunichi’s Opening Day starter Koji Fukutani (4-6) was the fortunate winner after allowing two runs on twelve hits over seven innings. Hanshin’s Raul Alcantara gave up two runs, one earned, over six innings. He struck out six while walking one.

Giants 4, BayStars 2

At Toyama Alpen Stadium, Yomiuri’s Yoshihiro Maru hit a pair of home runs, his seventh and eighth, and drove in three runs for the second straight day to make a winner out of Shun Yamaguchi (1-0), who allowed a run in 5-2/3 innings in his first game back in Japan.

BayStars ace Shota Imanaga (1-2) gave up four runs over six innings. Kevin Shackelford and Edwin Escobar each gave DeNA a scoreless inning of relief. Thyago Vieira recorded his fourth save for the Giants.

Giants-BayStars highlights

Swallows 8, Carp 5

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Jose Osuna’s fifth home run, a three-run third-inning shot did most of the damage against Hiroshima’s Allen Kuri (5-5), who allowed seven runs, five earned, over four innings. Norichika Aoki reached base four times, scored twice and drove in a run for the Swallows.

Shogo Sakakura was the big hitter for the Carp, reaching base three times, scoring a run and driving in two. Yakult starter Cy Sneed (2-1) got whacked for five runs, four earned, in 3-2/3 innings. Scott McGough worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 14th save.

The Swallows lost Munetaka Murakami after he fouled a pitch off his right knee in the fourth inning. Manager Shingo Takatsu said Murakami wouldn’t be deactivated.

The Carp were without Seiya Suzuki, who suffered from side effects after being vaccinated for his role on Japan’s Olympic team.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Marines vs Hawks: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Roki Sasaki (1-0, 3.38) vs Shota Takeda (3-3, 2.43)

Buffaloes vs Fighters: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hirotoshi Masui (2-4, 3.94) vs Hiromi Ito (4-4, 2.77)

Central League

Dragons vs Tigers: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Yuichiro Okano (0-1, 9.00) vs Joe Gunkel (5-0, 2.44)

Carp vs Swallows: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Koya Takahashi (2-2, 5.02) vs Keiji Takahashi (1-0, 2.84)

Active roster moves 6/23/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/3

Central League


GiantsP99Shun Yamaguchi
TigersP44Raul Alcantara
BayStarsC10Yasutaka Tobashira
CarpOF59Minoru Omori
SwallowsP54Cy Sneed


BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama
BayStarsP93Koo Nakagawa
CarpOF1Seiya Suzuki

Pacific League


MarinesP35Shota Suzuki
MarinesC22Tatsuhiro Tamura
FightersP52Takahide Ikeda
BuffaloesP29Daiki Tajima
BuffaloesP98Chang Yi


MarinesC32Toshiya Sato
BuffaloesP19Taisuke Yamaoka
BuffaloesP49Keisuke Sawada

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