Tag Archives: Albert Suarez

NPB wrap 3-30-21

Kishi throws season’s 1st shutout

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Takayuki Kishi scattered eight singles while striking out seven and walking none for the Rakuten Eagles, who spoiled the Lotte Marines’ home opener, 5-0 in the Pacific League on Tuesday.

Kishi, who went 7-0 last year despite walking 20 batters over 67-1/3 innings, a fairly high rate for him, got back into his more normal groove. The 36-year-old elder statesman of the Eagles’ staff poured a little cold water on tradition in the postgame hero interview.

“I wasn’t thinking I was going to go all the way and finish the game. I wasn’t going to do anything counterproductive. I just focused on pitching as well as I could to get guys out,” he said.

Southpaw Kazuya Ojima (0-1) took on the mostly left-handed-hitting Eagles and took his lumps from their big right-handed bat, Hideto Asamura, who homered, and singled in a run. Eigoro Mogi followed Asamura’s sixth-inning single with a three-run homer.

The Marines activated slugging infielder Brandon Laird for the game. The 33-year-old managed just 39 games last season before injuries intervened. The one-time Mexico international went 1-for-3 against Kishi.

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, the SoftBank Hawks improved to 4-0 on the season with a 3-1 win over the Orix Buffaloes. Hawks lefty Shunsuke Kasaya (1-0) allowed a run over six innings on Adam Jones’ leadoff shot in the second. Kasaya struck out seven and walked two.

The Buffaloes got solid work from lefty Daiki Tajima, who gave up two runs over six innings. Hawks catcher Takuya Kai cannoned a pitch from Tyler Higgins over the wall in left to complete the scoring in the seventh, while Steven Moya went 1-for-3 for the Buffaloes.

At Sapporo Dome, rookie Brandon Taiga Tysinger, an Okinawa native who went to university in Hokkaido, returned there with a two-run homer, an RBI single and a sac fly as the Seibu Lions handed the Nippon Ham Fighters an 11-4, 3-1/2-hour beating in their home opener.

Hotaka Yamakawa, the PL’s 2018 MVP and another Okinawa native, homered in the first to open the scoring off lefty side-armer Ryo Kawano (0-1) but hurt himself stepping awkwardly on the first-base bag and came out of the game.

Yamasaki returns in bullpen blowup

At Yokohama Stadium, Yasutaka Shiomi doubled, homered and drove in three runs as the Yakult Swallows won for the first time this season in the Central League, coming from three runs down to beat the DeNA BayStars 5-4.

Lefty Kenta Ishida and former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki combined to allow four eighth-inning runs with Shingo Kawabata teeing off on a high first-pitch fastball from the former Japan closer Yamasaki to put the visitors in front.

Trailing 4-1 in the eighth, Norichika Aoki’s clone, Kotaro Yamasaki, worked a leadoff walk against the normally reliable Ishida. With two outs, Ishida appeared to lose the plot after left-handed-hitting slugger Munetaka Murakami checked his swing on a pair of two-strike high fastballs to draw a walk.

Seiichi Uchikawa, who began his career as a big-hitting second baseman for the BayStars 20 years earlier and is back in the CL for the first time in 11 years, ripped a fat 1-0 slider up the middle for an RBI single to score Yamasaki.

Having allowed a run in each of his relief appearances over the weekend against the Giants, Ishida was yanked in favor of Yasuaki Yamasaki. Shiomi hit a 1-1 splitter to the wall in left that Taiki Sekine failed to time properly, allowing it to go for a two-run double, and Kawabata drilled a first-pitch fastball to the gap in right for a Swallows lead.

Albert Suarez started for the Swallows and allowed three runs over four innings, while the BayStars wasted seven solid innings from Shinichi Onuki.

The BayStars remain winless after two wins and a tie over the weekend.

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, 2020 Sawamura Award winner Yudai Ono lacked the sharp command that was his trademark from the middle of last season, but gutted out seven innings while allowing two runs in the Chunichi Dragons’ 3-3 nine-inning tie against the Yomiuri Giants.

Angel Sanchez allowed two unearned runs over seven innings for the Giants, while Zelous Wheeler, hitting in the two hole for Yomiuri, went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Dragons cleanup hitter Dayan Viciedo put the hosts ahead in the second with a two-run single after a mental mistake by Giants third baseman Kazuma Okamoto prolonged the inning.

Defending No. 2

The pro yakyu news cast spent five minutes discussing the merits of Wheeler in the No. 2 hole, which is no surprise, since Japanese dogma since about 1980 demands that spot be taken by a guy who sacrifices and hits behind the runner and is typically a small, fast glove man.

“I used Wheeler when I was manager of the Eagles. He’s smart, always thinking of the base running situation as a hitter,” Hiromoto “Dave” Okubo said.

This is just another example of the language we get to justify the use of guys in the No. 2 spot whose only offensive skills are bunting and grounding out behind the runner. Because Wheeler isn’t one of those guys, a lot of the old boys need an excuse to justify his batting there.

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, 2020 rookie of the year Masato Morishita (1-0) struck out seven over six innings in the Hiroshima Carp’s 1-0 win over the Hanshin Tigers, who suffered their first loss.

Once Morishita left the game, the Tigers managed three hits off the Hiroshima bullpen, but two of those batters, Jerry Sands and rookie Teruaki Sato, were erased trying to leg out doubles against right fielder Teruaki Sato. Sato ended the game striking out against rookie Carp closer Ryoji Kuribayashi, who recorded his second save.

Sugano deactivated

Yomiuri Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano was deactivated on Tuesday after feeling discomfort and slight pain in his leg Kyodo News (Japanese) reported.

The report said he is only expected to miss one start.

Last season’s Central League MVP, Sugano turned down offers from MLB clubs after the Giants posted him and signed a one-year deal to remain in Japan for the 2021 season. He made his seventh career Opening Day start on Friday, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings.

Welcome back

Two SoftBank Hawks’ players, outfielder Wladimir Balentien and pitcher Nick Martinez, both entered Japan on Tuesday, Nishinihon Sports reported.

Balentien may count as a domestically-registered player but unfortunately, that doesn’t cut any weight with the immigration office that had been keeping non-residents from entering Japan, until pro baseball and soccer players were added to an entry waiver used for emergency workers, because, well, baseball and soccer are urgent.

No word on Senga after farm outing

SoftBank Hawks skipper Kimiyasu Kudo said he hadn’t made a decision on whether to activate ace Kodai Senga after the right-hander allowed three runs on nine hits over seven innings in the minors on Tuesday, Nishinihon sports reported.

“I’ve been informed of how he did, but I haven’t seen the video yet, so I can’t say what’s next for him,” Kudo said.

Fighters’ top pick to start Wednesday

Right-hander Hiromi Ito, a Hokkaido native and the Nippon Ham Fighters’ first pick in last autumn’s draft, will make his pro debut on Wednesday against the Seibu Lions at Sapporo Dome.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Fighters vs Lions: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hiromi Ito (-) vs Tatsuya Imai (3-4, 6.13)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Daiki Iwashita (7-7, 4.20) vs Takahiro Norimoto (5-7, 3.96)

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

Hirotoshi Masui (2-2, 3.03) vs Kotaro Otake (2-0, 2.30)

Central League

BayStars vs Swallows: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Taisei Irie (-) vs Hirotoshi Takanashi (3-6, 4.12)

Dragons vs Giants: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Akiyoshi Katsuno (4-5, 3.88) vs Shoichi Ino (6-7, 3.94)

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

Hiroki Tokoda (5-8, 4.93) vs Masashi Ito (-)

Roster moves

Active roster moves 3/30/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 4/9

Central League

Activated

GiantsP15Angel Sanchez
TigersP16Yuki Nishi
DragonsP22Yudai Ono
BayStarsP16Shinichi Onuki
CarpP18Masato Morishita
SwallowsP43Albert Suarez
SwallowsOF8Shota Nakayama

Dectivated

GiantsP18Tomoyuki Sugano

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP67Shunsuke Kasaya
MarinesP43Kazuya Ojima
MarinesIF54Brandon Laird
LionsP17Wataru Matsumoto
EaglesP11Takayuki Kishi
FightersP28Ryusei Kawano
FightersOF4Yuya Taniguchi
BuffaloesP29Daiki Tajima
BuffaloesP52Tyler Higgins
BuffaloesIF3Ryoichi Adachi

Dectivated

BuffaloesP37Hayate Nakagawa
BuffaloesIF4Shuhei Fukuda

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spring wrap March 9

Yuki James Nomura hit his second homer of the spring for the Nippon Ham Fighters, whose starting pitcher, second-year lefty Ryusei Kawano issued five walks en route to allowing nine runs over two innings in a 9-5 loss to the DeNA BayStars on Tuesday.

The BayStars’ second draft pick, 22-year-old second baseman Sugo Maki, rifled three hits in the game with a walk after starting the spring 1-for-8.

At Koshien Stadium, Junya Nishi, the Hanshin Tigers’ top draft pick, dodged a couple of bullets but not a grand slam by Kevin Cron as he allowed four runs over five innings in a 6-4 win over the Hiroshima Carp.

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Albert Suarez of the Yakult Swallows held the Orix Buffaloes to a run over three innings in a 4-1 loss.

In Fukuoka, the Yomiuri Giants’ Angel Sanchez gave up three runs, two earned, over four innings in a 5-3 loss to the SoftBank Hawks. Kenta Imamiya, the Pacific League’s premier shortstop until injuries began taking their toll in 2018 and Seibu’s Sosuke Genda came on the scene, had two more hits in his bid to reclaim the job that was usurped in his absence by a battalion of speedy young upstarts.

One of those guys, PL stolen base champ Ukyo Shuto, blasted a homer off Ryuta Heinai, the Giants’ top draft pick last autumn.

The Daily Sports, which is the Hanshin Tigers’ flagship paper, gleefully reported in its wrap that the Hawks have now beaten the Giants in 12 straight games, including two straight Japan Series sweeps.

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Note: The story originally had Shugo Maki as the BayStars’ top pick in last year’s draft. He was their second pick.

NPB 2020 Nov. 8

Sunday’s games

Other news

Marines seize postseason beachhead

A rare home run from Yudai Fujioka broke a 2-2 tie, and Yuki Karakawa preserved the lead with a big sixth-inning strikeout as the Lotte Marines exploited some Seibul Lions defensive lapses in a n 8-2 win that sent them into the playoffs for the first time in four years.

The Marines surrendered the lead in the second inning, when Kazuya Ojima walked a batter and the Lions put good swings on three pitches in the heart of the zone to go up 2-0. Ojima was pulled after two frames, beginning an impressive daylong bullpen car rally for the Marines.

After a great start to the game in which his fastball was absolutely hopping, Wataru Matsumoto couldn’t get out of a jam with one out and runners on the corners. Cory Spangenberg, whose RBI single opened the scoring, lost a smash to third base, by dropping it between his feet and then fell victim to Lindsey Nelson’s Law — which dictates that a player typically looks the wrong way first whenever a ball is dropped.

Spangenberg looked everywhere but down, allowing the runner from third to score and leaving him with no play at first. Tsuyoshi Sugano tied it with a two-out RBI single.

Fujioka put the Marines in front in the fourth when Matsumoto (6-7) hung a fastball. The Marines shortstop stayed back on it and smacked it over the fence in right and into the Home Run Lagoon seats.

Daiki Iwashita (7-7) normally a starter, came on from the top of the fourth and left after walking two in the top of the sixth. With two outs and the bases packed, Yuki Karakawa entered to strike out No. 9 hitter Wu Nien-ting.

After a tenuous outing from Lions reliever Reed Garrett, a pair of misplays in the bottom of the inning helped score three runs. all charged to Katsunori Hirai. The Marines then committed their bullpen cavalry to chase the Lions out of pennant contention, as Frank Herrman, Hirokazu Sawamura and closer Naoya Masuda worked one scoreless inning apiece.

Sakamoto milestone highlights loss

Hayato Sakamoto only needed one at-bat against Albert Suarez to become the second-youngest player with 2,000 hits in Nippon Professional Baseball, but he tacked on a two-run home run, an infield single and a walk before the Yomiuri Giants were sunk 5-4 by the Yakult Swallows.

With teams permitted now to admit up to 80 percent of capacity, the Giants welcomed Japan’s biggest crowd of the season, 31,735, to Tokyo Dome, where Yakult’s Kotaro Yamasaki put only the slightest damper on the day with an eighth-inning grand slam.

Sakamoto is the 53rd player with 2,000 hits in Japan, a list that includes neither Ichiro Suzuki or Hideki Matsui, who moved to the majors before they could get that many hits in their homeland.

The Giants captain is the seventh player whose career has been spent primarily at shortstop to reach the milestone, since the position tends to be filled in Japan with light-hitting sacrifice bunters who rarely play regularly past the age of 30.

With numerous supporters urging Sakamoto to aim for 3,000, one could apply Bill James career assessment formula to get an idea of his chances. The formula gives him a 35 percent chance of reaching 3,000, and a 28 percent chance of surpassing Isao Harimoto’s NPB record of 3,085

Active roster moves 11/8/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 11/18

Central League

Activated

None

Dectivated

TigersP75Robert Suarez
CarpP67Yuta Nakamura
CarpC31Yoshiyuki Ishihara
CarpIF63Ryoma Nishikawa

Pacific League

Activated

None

Dectivated

LionsP11Tatsuya Imai

Starting pitchers for Nov. 9, 2020

Pacific League

Marines vs Fighters: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Ayumu Ishikawa (7-6, 4.11) vs Kenta Uehara (1-3, 3.73)

Hawks vs Lions: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Matt Moore (6-3, 2.64) vs Kona Takahashi (8-8, 3.80)

NPB 2020 Nov. 1

Sunday’s games

Other news

Lions stop streaking Hawks

Wataru Matsumoto (6-6) and four relievers held the SoftBank Hawks to a run on hour hits and no walks in the Seibu Lions’ 3-1 Pacific League win at MetLife Dome on Sunday to move to within 1-1/2 games of the second-place Lotte Marines, who came from behind to tie the Eagles 3-3.

Shunsuke Kasaya (4-4) walked four and hit one, and three of those five free passes scored as the Hawks saw their six-game win streak end. The Hawks jumped out to 1-0 lead after Taisei Makihara’s leadoff double.

Takumi Kurihara singled in the tying run in the first for the Lions and contributed to Seibu’s third-inning go-ahead run with his second single. Takeya Nakamura drove in Seibu’s final runs, with a hard-hit ball the Hawks did well to get an out on and a double.

Marines come back to tie Eagles

The Lotte Marines’ Ikuhiro Kiyota hit a two-run first-inning home run and singled in the seventh to set up the tying run and complete the scoring in a 3-3 10-inning tie against the fourth-place Rakuten Eagles at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium.

Kazuhisa Makita took over for the Eagles in the seventh with one out and two on. He walked Seiya Inoue to load the bases and surrendered Hisanori Yasuda’s game-tying single before pitching out of trouble.

Yuki Matsui took the mound in the ninth for the Eagles and prevented a loss by throwing two scoreless innings.

Nomura, Arihihara beat Buffaloes

Kohei Arihara (8-9) allowed a run in five innings and Yuki James Nomura drove in four runs with a single and a triple to pace the Nippon Ham Fighters to a 7-1 win over the Orix Buffaloes at Sapporo Dome.

Twenty-one-year-old Orix starter Hitomi Honda (0-1) gave up seven runs, three earned, in four innings in his pro debut.

BayStars win 2nd virus test

For the second straight day, the DeNA BayStars threw open the doors to Yokohama Stadium as 24,537 on Friday and 27,850 on Saturday became the first normal-sized crowds to watch a sporting event in Japan since February. Although asked to refrain from cheering and chanting, the home fans got to witness their team come from behind in a 6-5 walk-off win over the Hanshin Tigers.

The stadium is scheduled to be the main venue for softball and baseball when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics start in July 2021.

Just think. The rest of the world can put 2020 behind them when January arrives, but Tokyo will still be advertising “Tokyo 2020” on banners all over the metropolis through much of 2021 to remind of this shit storm of a year—at least until the whole thing is canceled and those banners go the way of the money wasted to secure this fiasco in the first place.

In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, in which people were crammed together to test the effectiveness of removing social distance, the Tigers showed that they could load the bases and not pose a threat to the BayStars, juicing the bags in the fifth, eighth and ninth without a run to show for it.

Otherwise, Neftali Soto, who likely won’t win a third straight CL home run title, hit his 23rd and 24th, closer Kazuki Mishima (2-1) earned the win for the hosts and Takayuki Kajitani singled in the game-winner off Jon Edwards (0-1).

Jerry Sands doubled twice and drove in a run for the Tigers, and Jefry Marte singled in a run in the Tigers’ four-run seventh.

Giants scrape past Swallows

Seishu Hatake (4-4) threw a three-hitter for his first career shutout and Albert Suarez (4-4) allowed an unearned run in five innings to take the loss in the Yomiuri Giants’ 2-1 win over the Yakult Swallows at Tokyo Dome.

Giants-Swallows highlights

Get the rookie trophy ready for Morishita

Rookie right-hander Masato Morishita (10-3) pitched out of a couple of tight spots to go eight innings in the Hiroshima Carp’s 3-0 win at Nagoya Dome over the Chunichi Dragons. Geronimo Franzua finished up for his 18th save.

Dragons starter Yuya Yanagi (5-7) allowed three runs, two earned, while striking out 11 over 6-2/3 innings to take the loss.

Active roster moves 11/1/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 11/11

Central League

Activated

GiantsP62Kai Yokogawa
GiantsIF93Dai Yuasa
GiantsOF2Yang Dai-kang
BayStarsP12Kousuke Sakaguchi
BayStarsP93Koh Nakagawa
BayStarsC50Yuudai Yamamoto
SwallowsP15Yuma Oshita
SwallowsC30Akihisa Nishida
SwallowsIF0Ryota Fujii
SwallowsOF50Tsuyoshi Ueda

Dectivated

GiantsP18Tomoyuki Sugano
GiantsIF68Kazuya Katsuki
GiantsIF98Estamy Urena
BayStarsP58Yuta Muto
BayStarsP92Yuki Kuniyoshi
BayStarsC36Shuto Takajo
SwallowsC57Yudai Koga
SwallowsIF58Hideki Nagaoka
SwallowsIF60Ryusei Takeoka

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP50Shunta Nakatsuka
HawksP67Shunsuke Kasaya
BuffaloesP46Hitomi Honda

Dectivated

LionsP21Ken Togame
FightersP17Hiroshi Urano
BuffaloesP27Andrew Albers

Starting pitchers for Nov. 1, 2020

Pacific League

Lions vs Fighters: MetLife Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Daiki Enokida (0-1, 7.13) vs Tsubasa Nabatame (0-0, 27.00)

NPB 2020 Sept. 18

Moore the merrier against Eagles

Matt Moore (3-1) overcame an awkward start to allow two runs over 6-1/3 innings as the SoftBank Hawks departed from protocol by not practicing prior to crushing the Rakuten Eagles at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome.

Moore struggled with the bottom of umpire Tomiji Iizuka’s strike zone and threw 24 pitches in a first inning as he pitched out of a two-on one-out jam. He surrendered Stefen Romero’s 18th home run with no outs and one on in the seventh, registered his sixth strikeout and then made his exit.

Ukyo Shuto had four hits, stole two bases–he leads the PL with 20–and scored twice for the Hawks, while Yuki Yanagita hit his 24th home run for the hosts.

Neal triggers Buffaloes stampede

The Orix Buffaloes scored six runs off Zach Neal (3-6) and routed the Seibu Lions 8-2 to earn Opening Day starter Taisuke Yamaoka (1-3) his first win of the season at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.

Steven Moya, activated on Thursday, hit his first home run of the year to open the scoring in the first with a two-run shot into the second deck. Neal then surrendered four-straight hits followed by a sac fly in the five-run inning.

Yamaoka allowed two runs over six innings on eight hits and a walk while striking out six. Yutaro Sugimoto, one of the minor leaguers acting manager Satoshi Nakajima activated had four hits, scored two runs and drove in two for the Buffaloes.

Marines lose fight with reserves

Reserve outfielder Go Matsumoto singled in a run in the Nippon Ham Fighters’ five-run third inning and added a two-run home run in a bullpen day for the hosts in their 7-3 win over the Lotte Marines at Sapporo Dome.

Nick Martinez, who started the season in the rotation but has been relieving of late, allowed three runs over three innings, but Takayuki Kato (2-1) picked up the slack with three scoreless innings to earn the win while three others worked one scoreless run apiece.

The Fighters did most of their damage against lefty Toshiya Nakamura (2-3) tagging him for six runs, five earned, over 3-2/3 innings.

Austin powers Ino to victory

Tyler Austin’s sixth home run, a three-run second-inning moon shot, was the big blow in the DeNA BayStars’ 6-0 win over the Yomiuri Giants at Yokohama Stadium.

Shoichi Ino (6-4) worked six innings, and Spencer Patton, Kenta Ishida and Tomoya Mikami finished up to hand the Giants their second shutout loss since their magic number “appeared” on Tuesday. The 34-year-year-old Ino got the better of 20-year-old rookie right-hander Shosei Togo (7-4).

The BayStars win moved them to within 11 games of the defending champion Giants.

Swallows gut Carp

Naomichi Nishiura drove in four runs, including the game’s first with a sacrifice fly as the Yakult Swallows left a 14-5 mark on the Hiroshima Carp at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

Albert Suarez (3-0) allowed four runs over six innings, striking out seven without issuing any of the walks that got him demoted in July when he was leading the CL in ERA, to earn his first win since July 1. Tetsuto Yamada brought the hosts back from a run down with his ninth homer, a two-run shot in the Swallows’ five-run fifth off Hiroki Tokoda (1-6).

Oyama kills Dragons in their lair

Yusuke Oyama homered twice and drove in six runs as the Hanshin Tigers overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the Chunichi Dragons 8-4 at Nagoya Dome.

Former Dodger and Korean RBI king Jerry Sands batted fourth in front of Oyama and reached base four times. He walked twice, singled and was hit by a pitch and scored on both of his teammate’s home runs.

Active roster moves 9/18/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/28

Central League

Activated

GiantsP95Hayato Horioka
GiantsC22Seiji Kobayashi
GiantsOF88Gerardo Parra
BayStarsP35Tomoya Mikami
TigersC94Fumihito Haraguchi
DragonsP50Tatsuya Shimizu

Dectivated

GiantsP19Toyoki Tanaka
GiantsC38Yukinori Kishida
GiantsIF52Takumi Kitamura
BayStarsP45Michael Peoples
TigersC44Ryutaro Umeno

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP50Shunta Nakatsuka
MarinesP24Yusuke Azuma
FightersC22Shinya Tsuruoka

Dectivated

LionsP27Tetsuya Utsumi
MarinesP62Shoji Nagano
FightersP57Toshihiro Sugiura
BuffaloesP17Hirotoshi Masui

Starting pitchers for Sept. 19, 2020

Pacific League

Fighters vs Marines: Sapporo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kohei Arihara (4-7, 4.30) vs Tsuyoshi Ishizaki (0-0, 10.64)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Sachiya Yamasaki (2-4, 4.95) vs Sean Nolin (1-1, 7.20)

Hawks vs Eagles: PayPay Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Shunsuke Kasaya (2-3, 3.48) vs Ryota Takinaka (-)

Central League

Swallows vs Carp: Jingu Stadium 6:30 pm, 5:30 am EDT

Daiki Yoshida (1-4, 5.15) vs Masato Morishita (6-2, 2.39)

BayStars vs Giants: Yokohama Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (4-4, 3.94) vs Nobutaka Imamura (3-0, 3.72)

Dragons vs Tigers: Nagoya Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Koji Fukutani (3-2, 2.78) vs Takumi Akiyama (5-1, 3.06)

NPB 2020 Sept. 11

Moore, Despaigne lead Hawks over Lions

Matt Moore (2-1) overcame one costly mistake to allow two runs over seven innings and Alfredo Despaigne, getting a rare start in the outfield, had three hits including a tie-breaking home run in the SoftBank Hawks’ 4-2 win over the Seibu Lions on Friday.

Lions starter Zach Neal (3-5) was victimized by good swings and good footspeed in the Hawks’ two-run second at Fukuoka’s Casa de Pepe. Takuya Kai lined a leadoff double to center. Ukyo Shuto brought him home from third with one out with a well-hit single. Shuto stole second and third and scored on a sacrifice fly.

The Lions tied it in the third on a Corey Spangenberg infield single and a two-out Ernesto Mejia home run. Moore missed up with a 1-2 changeup and Mejia drove it over the short fence in left for his ninth home run in his 90th at-bat this season. Moore was visibly displeased and might have been penalized at Wimbledon had lip readers called in to report him to the match officials.

With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the inning, the broadcasters quoted Lions pitching coach Fumiya Nishiguchi about Neal pitching well despite the two runs allowed. Within seconds, however. Neal caught the bad-pitch bug. The right-hander hung a changeup to Alfredo Despaigne that the Cuban slugger miss-hit but lofted over the fence in left.

Moore struck out nine and walked two, while allowing three hits. Other than a walk to Hotaka Yamakawa, Spangenberg, who walked in the first, and Mejia, who doubled in the second, were the only Lions to reach base against the lefty.

Neal struck out six, while allowing seven hits over seven innings, and would have been a winner with the stuff he brought against a slightly less-potent team.

Livan Moinelo and Yuito Mori each worked a scoreless inning of relief with Mori earning his 20th save.

Nakamura outduels Yamaoka

Lotte Marines lefty Toshiya Nakamura (2-2) took a no-hitter into the eighth, and his teammates scored two unearned runs off the Orix Buffaloes Opening Day starter, Taisuke Yamaoka, in a 2-0 win at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium.

The Marines managed just three hits against Yamaoka (0-3). Shohei Kato singled to open the Marines’ sixth for their first hit. An error put two on with no outs. Kato stole third, but Yamaoka struck out the next two batters and got ahead of Shogo Nakamura 1-2. The next pitch floated up in the zone and Nakamura did what most Japanese hitters are trained to do, hammer it up the middle. The ball got through the infield to make it 1-0, and Katsuya Kakunaka doubled in another run.

Ryoichi Adachi broke up Toshiya Nakamura’s no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the eighth, and Lotte skipper Tadahito Iguchi came and got his starter. Newly acquired right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura retired the next three batters, and closer Naoya Masuda worked a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 23rd save.

Mogi knocks out Fighters in 10th

Eigoro Mogi’s two-run 10th-inning home run overturned a one-run deficit and lifted the Rakuten Eagles to a 5-4 walk-off win over the Nippon Ham Fighters in a rain-soaked game at Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi.

Eagles closer Alan Busenitz retired only one of the four batters he faced—on a sacrifice bunt–as the Fighters tied it in the ninth, but right-hander Tomohito Sakai retired both batters he faced to keep it tied. The visitors made it 4-3 in the 10th after a 30-minute rain delay.

Hideto Asamura opened the 10th with a single and Eagles manager Hajime Miki played for a tie by having hard-hitting Hiroaki Shimauchi sacrifice. Mogi, however, would have none of it.

Afterward, Mogi read the home run hitters’ post-game hero interview script to perfection.

“I have good hitters coming up behind me so I was just trying to get on base,” Mogi said, with some measure of honesty since Stefen Romero was on deck, although guys say that when anyone but the pitcher is following them.

Hara sets Giants managing record

Hayato Sakamoto’s eighth-inning home run broke a 1-1 tie as Tatsunori Hara earned his franchise-best 1,067th victory as Yomiuri Giants manager in a 2-1 win over the Yakult Swallows at Tokyo Dome.

Hara first managed the Giants in 2002 and is in his third stint with the team after quitting twice. He had been tied for the franchise lead with Tetsuharu Kawakami, who managed 1,866 games. Friday’s game was Hara’s 1,927th. In addition to being one of the club’s first superstars as a hard-hitting first baseman, Kawakami managed the Giants to nine-straight Japan Series championships from 1965 to 1973.

The game marked right-hander Albert Suarez’s return from exile with the Swallows’ farm team in Toda, Saitama Prefecture. Suarez had been deactivated after walking seven betters over six scoreless innings on July 7 to “regain his form.” On the farm, he had an ERA over 10.00 so it is unclear whether he accomplished that.

At Tokyo Dome, he allowed a run over six innings on five hits and a walk. Giants rookie Shosei Togo worked seven innings and allowed a solo home run to Tetsuto Yamada.

Giants-Swallows highlights.

Nishi, Sands slaughter Carp

Yuki Nishi (6-3) struck out nine without a walk in a four-hit shutout, and Jerry Sands drove in a pair of runs for the Hanshin Tigers in their 4-0 win over the Hiroshima Carp at Koshien Stadium.

Sands went 3-for-4 to push his batting average above .300. He singled in Koji Chikamoto in the first to open the scoring. Chikamoto doubled in the third, stole third and came home on catcher Shogo Sakakura’s throwing error. Sands’ 18th home run made it 3-0 in the sixth.

Dragons squeak past BayStars

Cuban closer Raidel Martinez overcame a ninth-inning leadoff homer and two singles to hold the DeNA BayStars to one run and seal his 11th save in the Chunichi Dragons’ 3-2 win at Yokohama Stadium.

Neftali Soto, who has led the Central League in home runs in each of his two seasons in Japan, went after Martinez’s first pitch and launched his 13th home run. But the right-hander struck out two of the last three batters he faced to end it.

Active roster moves 9/11/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/21

Central League

Activated

TigersP36Masumi Hamachi
TigersP56Keisuke Kobayashi
TigersP64Kentaro Kuwahara
CarpP28Hiroki Tokoda
CarpC22Shosei Nakamura
SwallowsP43Albert Suarez
SwallowsIF10Takahiro Araki

Dectivated

TigersP14Atsushi Nomi
TigersP48Yukiya Saito
TigersP61Atsushi Mochizuki
CarpC27Tsubasa Aizawa
DragonsP67Yariel Rodriguez
SwallowsP47Keiji Takahashi
SwallowsIF5Shingo Kawabata

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP36Sho Ito
LionsOF73Wataru Takagi
EaglesP60Ryota Ishibashi
EaglesIF66Itsuki Murabayashi
FightersP18Kosei Yoshida
BuffaloesOF25Ryo Nishimura

Dectivated

LionsP25Katsunori Hirai
LionsOF65Daisuke Togawa
EaglesIF24Fumiya Kurokawa
FightersC60Takuya Kori
BuffaloesP21Daichi Takeyasu
BuffaloesOF41Kodai Sano

Starting pitchers for Sept. 12, 2020

Pacific League

Eagles vs Fighters: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Takahiro Shiomi (4-5, 4.60) vs Kohei Arihara (4-6, 3.43)

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

Manabu Mima (6-2, 4.84) vs Andrew Albers (3-5, 3.62)

Hawks vs Lions: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shota Takeda (1-0, 2.31) vs Sean Nolin (1-0, 3.75)

Central League

Giants vs Swallows: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Nobutaka Imamura (3-0, 3.04) vs Daiki Yoshida (1-4, 4.99)

BayStars vs Dragons: Yokohama Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (3-4, 4.12) vs Takahiro Matsuba (2-3, 2.68)

Tigers vs Carp: Koshien Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Takumi Akiyama (4-1, 3.29) vs Atsushi Endo (2-2, 3.90)