spring wrap 3-14-21

Tanaka goes 5 for Eagles

Masahiro Tanaka allowed an unearned run on four hits over five innings on Sunday in the Rakuten Eagles’ 3-1 preseason win over the DeNA BayStars in Shizuoka, Tospo Web reported.

Tanaka struck out three without issuing a walk in his fourth spring outing since rejoining the Eagles as a free agent for the first time since 2013.

“It’s the preseason, so I want my priority to be on sequences, so I can throw pitches that get outs, rather than these games (and their results),” Tanaka said.

“Within the context of the theme I set for myself, I think I did well. I’m not perfect yet but compared to last time I threw some good pitches after reflecting on issues from that previous game. So in that respect, it was satisfactory.”

The Eagles’ prize draft pick, lefty Takahisa Hayakawa struck out five without issuing a walk while allowing one hit over four innings. Rakuten scored all of its runs in the second inning off DeNA starter Kentaro Taira.

At Koshien Stadium, rookie Teruaki Sato, the other big deal in last autumn’s draft, hit his fourth home run of the spring for the Hanshin Tigers in a 1-0 win over the Yomiuri Giants.

The home run was the left-hand-hitting Sato’s third at Koshien and all to left, a big thing for the Tigers since the wind off Osaka bay has a reputation for knocking down would-be home run balls to right.

Because it’s the Giants and Tigers, no trivia stone is left unturned, even in the spring, as Nikkan Sports informs that this is the Tigers’ first 1-0 preseason victory over the Giants since 1995.

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Ryosuke Hirata belted a three-run homer off rookie Yakult Swallows right-hander Yasunobu Okugawa, who was a prime pick out of high school a year ago. The hosts hammered Chunichi Dragons starter Yuya Yanagi, however, for five runs in six innings.

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte’s top draft pick Shota Suzuki threw five scoreless innings against the SoftBank Hawks, who got 6-1/3 strong innings from submariner Rei Takahashi in a 2-0 win. Ryoya Kurihara drove in both Hawks runs with his first home run of the spring.

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Sho Nakata homered in his hometown with a shot off Carp starter Allen Kuri. The Nippon Ham Fighters’ top pick in last year’s draft, right-hander Hiromi Ito, struck out seven in seven innings in the 2-0 win. Former Cleveland Indian Toru Murata, who was re-signed after being non-tendered in December, worked two scoreless innings of relief for the Fighters.

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, 10 Orix Buffaloes pitchers combined on a one-hitter in a 5-0 win over the Seibu Lions. Seibu right-hander Katsunori Hirai, who is converting from middle-relief workhorse to stater, struck out three in three innings.

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