Monday was a national holiday in Japan, Sea Day, so we had baseball ahead of the Wednesday and Thursday’s all-star games. Carter Stewart Jr. and Shumpeita Yamashita squared off in a duel of hard-throwing rookies with good curveballs, Tomoyuki Sugano didn’t make it out of the first inning in one of the year’s wildest games, and Hiroshima’s Hiroki Tokoda did it all on the mound and at bat
Buffaloes 2, Hawks 1, 10 innings: At Fukuoka Dome, Shumpeita Yamashita (8-2) struck out eight over seven innings while allowing two singles and two walks. Carter Stewart Jr. (0-2) was nearly as impressive. He surrendered five hits, two on slow rollers, striking out seven and walking two. He pitched out of a fourth-inning jam – when right fielder Ukyo Shuto robbed Yuma Tongu of a two-out two-run double. A hard-hit double in the sixth, and a one-out walk set up all three Orix runs.
Leandro Cedeno put a good swing on a decent fastball and knocked it into the right-field home run terrace for his fifth homer.
Shota Abe and Yuki Udagawa each contributed a scoreless inning of relief with Udagawa earning his second save.
The loss was SoftBank’s ninth straight, the Hawks’ longest since 1996, the year Hawks fans in Osaka – from where the franchise had moved seven years earlier – pelted the Daiei team bus with eggs. The Buffaloes go into the second half with a 3-1/2 game lead over the Marines.
Right field appeared to be the sun field at Yokohama Stadium on Friday night, while Takayuki Kishi and Shumpeita Yamashita locked up in a battle of the ages.
Marines 7, Lions 6, 10 innings : At Tokyo Dome, Lotte’s Hisanori Yasuda, who tied the game 2-2 in the first with an RBI single, walked off the Lions with a two-out sayonara single.
Koki Yamaguchi‘s two-out two-run homer made it 4-3 Lotte in the third. Seibu’s Shohei Suzuki, who singled in a run and scored in the first, singled with one out in the fifth and scored the tying run on a David MacKinnon infield single.
The Lions jumped in front for the second time in the seventh when Takeya Nakamura doubled with two outs and scored on a Junichiro Kishi single. Ryusei Sato homered in the eighth to make it 6-4 Lions, only for Gregory Polanco to retie it with a two-run homer in the park that was his home last season with the Yomiuri Giants.
Shogo Nakamura singled, pinch-runner Koshiro Wada stole second and went to third on a throwing error. Lions manager Kazuo Matsui argued unsuccessfully that Polanco, who struck out on the play, interfered with the throw as he followed through with his swing.
Lions center fielder Kishi dutifully tried to catch Lotte in a Merkle’s boner by throwing to first to try for a force out, but Yasuda ran it out for the win.