Interleague Day 9
The leagues split Thursday’s games, two wins, two losses and one tie after the Carp and Fighters were rained out in Hiroshima with Nippon Ham leading 5-2.
The Central League leads this year 24-20-7 at approximately the half-way mark, while being outscored 211-197. The Chunichi Dragons lead the interleague standings 6-1-2, with the CL’s last-place club, the DeNA BayStars, right behind at 5-2-2.
The BayStars’ win over the Hawks knocked SoftBank out of the PL lead, preventing Friday’s opener at Koshien, where the Hanshin Tigers will play SoftBank, from being a clash between league leaders.
Giants 4, Lions 4
At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri right-hander Seishu Hatake loaded the bases with two outs and veteran Takumi Kuriyama tied the game with a two-run single. Hiroyuki Nakajima and Ginjiro Sumitani staked Angel Sanchez to a four-run lead. Sanchez left with two outs and two on in the sixth after surrendering a leadoff homer to Tomoya Mori.
Yomiuri shredded its former ace Tetsuya Utsumi (-) in his return to his old park, with Giants catcher Sumitani getting in the big blow. Going to the plate to the sound of Utsumi’s old walk-up music, Sumitani, whose free-agent signing by the Giants allowed Seibu to grab Utsumi as compensation, belted a two-run second-inning homer against his old team that made it 3-0.
Utsumi allowed only three run over two innings in which he walked four and surrendered five hits, including a home run, thanks to two double plays and a Giants runner stumbling on the bases.
Career minor leaguer Seiji Kawagoe homered for the Lions in the seventh to narrow the gap.
Eagles 4, Swallows 2
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Daichi Suzuki doubled, walked, scored one run and singled in the go-ahead run as Rakuten came from behind to beat Yakult. The Swallows took the lead on third-inning homers by Yasutaka Shiomi, his seventh, and Norichika Aoki, his first, off Ryota Takinaka (4-2).
Cy Sneed (1-1) allowed the tying runs to score in the fourth, when he issued two walks, allowed two singles and hit a batter. Hiroto Kobukata singled with one out in the sixth, stole second and scored on Suzuki’s single. Kobukata scored an insurance run in the ninth with his second home run. Takinaka went five innings, and the bullpen did the rest of the heavy lifting to close it out with Yuki Matsui striking out three of the four batters he faced to record his 16th save.
BayStars 4, Hawks 3
At Yokohama Stadium, new SoftBank import Colin Rea got a rude awakening in his Japan debut, surrendering a three-run first-inning home run to Tyler Austin, his ninth, but allowed just three more base runners through six, when he left with the game tied 3-3.
Yuya Sakamoto worked six scoreless innings for DeNA, but Nobuhiro Matsuda tagged Edwin Escobar for a three-run homer in the seventh that took Rea off the hook for the loss. Rea threw 74 pitches, walked one and hit one while striking out five, but was pulled for a pinch-hitter after Matsuda’s seventh home run.
Reliever Keisuke Izumi (1-2) surrendered a run on doubles by Neftali Soto and Yamato Maeda. Yasuaki Yamasaki got past the heart of the Hawks order in the eighth, and Kazuki Mishima closed it out in the ninth to earn his ninth save.
Dragons 4, Marines 3
At Nagoya‘s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi tied the game 3-3 in the seventh inning, Toshiki Abe plating Dayan Viciedo with a squeeze bunt, Yohei Oshima homered off Yuki Karakawa (3-2) in the bottom of the eighth and Katsuki Matayoshi worked the ninth to record his fifth save.
Naomichi Donoue, starting for the first time this season, homered in the first, while journeyman reserve Masataka Iryo homered for the first time in five years to make it 2-0 in the second against Fumiya Motomae.
Akiyoshi Katsuno allowed a run through six for the Dragons, who blew the lead in the seventh with Hiroto Fuku on the mound. Katsuya Kakunaka drew a leadoff walk, and Brandon Laird followed with his 12th home run.
Buffaloes 7, Tigers 3
At Koshien Stadium, 19-year-old rookie Orix shortstop Kotaro Kurebayashi’s third home run of the season, a two-run shot, broke a 3-3 eighth-inning tie off reliever Suguru Iwazaki (1-3).
The Tigers jumped in front on a two-run first-inning Yusuke Oyama off Sachiya Yamasaki and rookie Teruaki Sato hit his 14th homer in the second. Masataka Yoshida doubled and scored in the Buffaloes’ two-run fourth off Raul Alcantara, who allowed three runs over seven innings. Orix leadoff man Shuhei Fukuda walked and scored in the fourth and singled in the tying run in the fifth.
Carp vs Fighters, rained out
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, the rain washed out a game Chihiro Kaneko might have won with Nippon Ham leading Hiroshima 5-2 after Kaneko singled in two runs.
Giants vs Fighters: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Swallows vs Lions: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT
BayStars vs Marines: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Dragons vs Buffaloes: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Tigers vs Hawks: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Carp vs Eagles: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 6/3/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/13