Eagles smack Hawks
Just when the SoftBank Hawks were beginning to look like the team we expected to see from the start of the season, they ran into the Rakuten Eagles and Masahiro Tanaka on a day when everything that could possibly go wrong for him didn’t.
The Hawks’ loss dropped them four off the pace with the Eagles and Lotte Marines are 2-1/2 back of the Orix Buffaloes.
In the Central League, the third-place Yakult Swallows laid a rare seven-homer smackdown on the Yomiuri Giants, while the Tigers lost their fourth straight to the DeNA BayStars and are two ahead of the Giants and 3-1/2 ahead of the Swallows.
Eagles 6, Hawks 2
At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Rakuten’s vs Masahiro Tanaka (4-5) delivered yet another solid performance, but this time had run support and did not suffer from inordinately bad luck. He struck out eight, walked, one, and allowed four hits, including a first-inning home run to Yuki Yanagita, his PL-best 22nd.
In the Eagles’ second inning, however, snapped a 15-inning scoreless streak while Tanaka was on the mound by tying it against Shuta Ishikawa (3-8). Takero Okajima doubled and scored on an Eigoro Mogi single. Daichi Suzuki homered in the third with a man on, his sixth. Mogi opened the fourth with his 11th home run. The Eagles tacked on two more runs through Okajima and Eigoro in the sixth and Hideto Asamura’s 10th home run in the seventh.
Buffaloes 5, Fighters 0
At Kushiro Stadium, 18-year-old outfielder Ryoto Kita, Orix’s third pick last autumn, who had one home run in 258 Western League plate appearances, capped a five-run first with a two-run homer in his first at-bat with the big club. Hirotoshi Masui (3-5) allowed three hits and three walks over six innings to get the win over his former team.
Nippon Ham starter Takahide Ikeda (3-9) allowed five runs, four earned, in one inning. Robbie Erlin threw four scoreless innings in relief, but with the help of some outstanding defense, the Fighters couldn’t secure a beachhead on the scoreboard.
Marines 7, Lions 6
At MetLife Dome, Leonys Martin’s 21st home run, a second-inning grand slam was the big blow against Seibu starter Wataru Matsumoto (7-4), who surrendered seven runs over four innings. Lotte starter Daiki Iwashita (8-4), however, gave most of that back.
Takeya Nakamura’s three-run home run, his eighth, made it a 7-5 game in the fifth. Marines closer Naoya Masuda surrendered a leadoff homer in the ninth, rookie Junichiro Kishi’s fifth, but struck out Nakamura with two outs and the tying run on base to secure his 22nd save.
Swallows 14, Giants 6
At Tokyo Dome, as if the Yakult Swallows took the talk of their not beating the Giants seriously with seven home runs, two shy of the NPB record for home runs by a team in one game. Munetaka Murakami tied the Giants’ Kazuma Okamoto with his 25th and 26th, Domingo Santana hit his seventh and eighth, Tetsuto Yamada hit his 24th, Jose Osuna his eighth, and Taisei Yoshida his first.
Yakult rookie Yasunobu Okugawa (4-2) allowed three runs on six hits over six innings while striking out seven. Yomiuri’s Angel Sanchez (5-5) allowed four runs over two innings before things really got bad.
BayStars 8, Tigers 2
At Koshien Stadium, DeNA’s Yuya Sakamoto (3-2) allowed a run over seven innings, and his teammates opened the game with three runs on five first-inning singles off Raul Alcantara (2-2), who allowed another run in the third on Tyler Austin’s 19th home run. The BayStars added four runs in the eighth. Jerry Sands got a run back in the ninth with his 17th home run.
Carp 8, Dragons 3
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima’s Shogo Sakakura hit a three-run home run, his fourth, off Koji Fukutani (4-9) in the third, and singled in a run and scored in a three-run fifth, while Allen Kuri (7-5) allowed three runs over seven innings.
Fighters vs Buffaloes: Obihiro no Mori Stadium 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT
Lions vs Marines: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Hawks vs Eagles: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs Swallows: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Tigers vs BayStars: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Carp vs Dragons: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 7/13/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/23