Japan’s Olympic baseball team has announced two replacement players for the roster, SoftBank Hawks ace Kodai Senga and Nippon Ham Fighters rookie right-hander Hiromi Ito. The pair replace two Giants, ace Tomoyuki Sugano and reliever Kota Nakagawa, who are both currently not fit to go.
Senga, by the way, will make his second start of the season on Tuesday after hurting his ankle in his season debut.
Former Dragons slugger Oshima passes away
Yasunori Oshima, who amassed 2,204 hits in a 24-year career with the Chunichi Dragons and Nippon Ham Fighters, and hit 382 home runs, passed away on June 30 at the age of 70 following a four-year battle with colorectal cancer.
Marines 8, Eagles 1
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Leonys Martin, Yudai Fujioka, Adeiny Hechavarría, and Brandon Laird each homered as the Lotte Marines left a mark on the Rakuten Eagles by completing a three-game sweep and pulling into a tie for second place in the Pacific League 4-1/2 games behind the Orix Buffaloes along with the SoftBank Hawks.
Daiki Iwashits (7-4) allowed a run over seven innings as the Eagles dropped into fourth place. Martin’s home run, to open the scoring in the second, was his PL-best 19th.
Fighters vs Lions: Asahikawa Starffin Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Sapporo Dome held a respect for the elderly promotion on Saturday giving up four hits to players 40 and over, and 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome, Nippon Professional Basesball’s oldest active player, cashed in with three singles and a double, two RBIs. He left after his eighth-inning leadoff single put the go-ahead runner on ahead of Dayan Viciedo, who broke the tie with an RBI double.
So show Kosuke some respect. He’s earned it.
On Sunday, we’ll get to see if the Yomiuri Giants have any similar promotions planned for when they face 40-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada in Fukuoka. The Giants have now lost 11 straight official games to the Hawks, including all eight from the 2019 and 2020 Japan Series.
The losing streak started with a loss to Wada at Tokyo Dome on June 23, 2019, in the finale of a three-game series in which the Giants won the middle game. Wada started and won Game 4 of the 2019 series and started Game 4 last autumn, but left after allowing a run over two innings in SoftBank’s 4-1 clincher in Fukuoka. He’s 6-3 against them over his career. His last loss to them was on May 28, 2009.
Dragons 7, Fighters 4
At Sapporo Dome, the Fighters came back to tie it 4-4 on a two-out two-run Wang Po-jung pinch double, but Bryan Rodriguez couldn’t hold the line in the eighth, after Fukudome’s leadoff single, he surrendered an RBI double to Dayan Viciedo. Takuya Kinoshita, who put Chunichi ahead 3-2 in the fifth with his sixth home run, was intentionally walked and scored on Daiki Mitsumata’s two-run double.
Drew VerHagen started for Nippon Ham and allowed four runs over six-plus innings on eight hits and a walk while striking out five.
Eagles 1 BayStars 1
At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Masahiro Tanaka was extremely sharp over eight innings, but one of his few mistakes cost him, when he missed down the pipe to Tyler Austin, who teed off on it to blast his eighth home run and give DeNA a 1-0, sixth-inning lead. Tanaka allowed five hits and hit a batter while striking out six.
Lefty Haruhiro Hamaguchi twice pitched out of tight spots, two on with no outs in the first and a no-out bases-loaded can of worms in the fourth to allow a run over six-plus innings. He left after allowing a leadoff single in the seventh, a runner the bullpen allowed to score.
Eagles closer Yuki Matsui pitched out of a no-out bases-loaded jam in the ninth, while former DeNA closer pitched a scoreless ninth against the bottom of the Eagles order to seal the tie.
Marines 7, Carp 3
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Adeiny Hechavarria went 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs, while Lotte leadoff man Takashi Ogino homered, walked twice, doubled and singled as the Marines overran Hiroshima.
Manabu Mima (3-2) allowed two runs over six innings, while Frank Herrmann surrendered another in the seventh, but the last seven Carp hitters bit the dust, while Hechavarria made mincemeat of the visitors’ bullpen.
Swallows 7, Buffaloes 4
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yakult’s Yasuhiro Ogawa (5-1) allowed three runs over seven innings – on a three-run seventh-inning Steven Moya pinch-hit home run, Jose Osuna doubled, singled, homered and drove in three runs, and Scott McGough struck out the side in the ninth for his fifth save. Domingo Santana also homered and singled for the Swallows.
Hawks 8, Giants 3
At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Yuya Hasegawa delivered a rare performance in a rare start for SoftBank. He hit two of the Hawks’ five home runs, one that tied the game 2-2 in the second and a three-run shot that broke the game open and chased Angel Sanchez (4-3) in the fifth inning. Hasegawa also made a terrific catch in left on a foul ball over the railing to end the Giants’ fifth with a man on.
Nick Martinez (4-1) allowed three runs over seven innings, in which he struck out 10 and walked one. He gave up Zelous Wheeler’s seventh home run, a two-run shot in the first, and allowed another run on four straight one-out singles in the sixth.
Yuki Yangita hit his 12th homer to start the Hawks’ second-inning fightback, while catcher Takuya Kai broke the 2-2 tie with a two-run fourth-inning home run, his fifth, and Nobuhiro Matsuda completed the carnage in the sixth with a solo shot that was his sixth of the season.
Lions 1, tigers 0
At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Hotaka Yamakawa hit his fifth home run and Tatsuya Imai (3-2) outdueled rookie Masashi Ito (3-2). Imai, whose professional existence has been plagued by walks, struck out six without a walk, while allowing three hits over 5-1/3 innings, when he left the game after a batted ball struck him on the left hand.
Tetsu Miyagawa retired the first three batters he faced before Hanshin loaded the bases in the seventh on a single and two two-out walks. Rookie Teruaki Sato, who blasted three home runs the night before, went down swinging for the second out, and veteran Yoshio Itoi struck out pinch-hitting to end the inning.
A night after Reed Garrett blew a two-run ninth-inning lead, Kaima Taira came into hold the lead in the ninth. After a leadoff walk and a stolen base, Taira struck out Sato and retired Mel Rojas Jr. on a fly out against the foul netting, that Tigers manager Akihiro Yano argued long after the video replay upheld the ruling.