Tag Archives: Domingo Santana

NPB wrap 5-7-21

Matching tops and bottoms

Friday was a night for both leagues’ last-place clubs to make statements in home games against their league’s leaders as the Pacific League’s Rakuten Eagles pulled into Sapporo Dome against a Nippon Ham Fighters team that hadn’t played since Saturday—when the club became classified as a coronavirus cluster.

In Yokohama, the DeNA BayStars, who struggled out of the gate this season under new manager Daisuke Miura welcoming the Hanshin Tigers, who have dominated the early going in the Central League.

Fighters 6, Eagles 1

At Sapporo Dome, Drew VerHagen (1-2) allowed a run over five innings while striking out nine, while Nippon Ham utility man Kenshi Sugiya homered to open the scoring against Hideaki Wakui (4-1) and then drove in a fifth-inning insurance run with a suicide squeeze

Wakui surrendered all six runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings.

Marines 7, Buffaloes 5

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, both starting pitchers took their lumps, with Lotte’s Ayumu Ishikawa (2-1) surrendering four runs over seven only to be outdone by Orix’s Taisuke Yamaoka (1-3), who gave up five over five. Seiya Inoue made it 5-0 Marines in the fourth with a three-run home run, his first of the season. Brandon Laird added a two-run double for the Marines.

All five Buffaloes’ runs came via the home run, a three-run shot in the fifth by rookie Ryo Ota and two solo homers by Yutaro Sugimoto, who has six on the year.

Hawks 2, Lions 2

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Seibu tied it on solo homers by Hotaka Yamakawa and Takumi Kuriyama. It was the second for each of the veterans who have spent most of the season rehabbing.

Yamakawa, a two-time PL home run champ, was in his first game back since he both homered and hurt his left hamstring on March 30. Kuriyama was hurt on Opening Day and wasn’t reactivated until April 20.

Hawks right-hander Shuta Ishikawa allowed two runs over eight innings on four hits and a walk while striking out eight. Seibu’s Kona Takahashi gave up two runs, one earned, over seven innings. Kaima Taira pitched out of trouble in the Hawks’ eighth. After SoftBank southpaw Livan Moinelo retired the Lions in the ninth, Reed Garret, back from taking a shot off the knee on Tuesday, did the same in the home half to seal the tie.

Swallows 6, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri ace Tomoyuki Sugano was pulled for a pinch-hitter after four sparkling innings with a 3-0 lead, only for lefty setup man Kota Nakagawa to surrender four Yakult runs in the eighth.

After the game, the Giants revealed that Sugano left the game due to discomfort in his right elbow, which was not at all apparent from his pitching, which appeared — at least in the first inning — as precise and effortless as I think I’ve ever seen from anyone.

Hayato Sakamoto and Zelous Wheeler hit back-to-back one-out homers off Albert Suarez in the first. The pair reached base in the third to set up a Kazuma Okamoto sacrifice fly.

Norichika Aoki doubled and scored on Yasutaka Shiomi’s pinch-hit single off Ryoma Nogami. Shiomi homered off Nakagawa with one out in the eighth. A walk and four straight two-out singles put the visitors in charge. Sakamoto lined a first-pitch fastball down the pipe from Scott McGough over the wall in center for his seventh home run, but the right-hander struck out three to keep the hosts from tying it.

Domingo Santana opened the Swallows’ ninth with his fourth home run.

Giants-Swallows highlights

BayStars 12, Tigers 6

At Yokohama Stadium, Hanshin’s Chen Wei-Yin cruised through three innings but blew a 2-0 lead when DeNA chased him with one out in the BayStars’ four-run fourth. But after the Tigers came back to tie it 6-6 on Jefry Marte’s seventh-inning RBI single, Tyler Austin led off the BayStars’ seventh with his fifth home run in 22 games this season.

The Tigers came back from a 6-2 deficit on Yoshio Itoi’s first homer, a solo shot off Edwin Escobar, and three runs off new import Kevin Shackelford, but a pair of relievers combined to strand two runners and the BayStars blew out the Tigers’ bullpen. Neftali Soto just missed a fourth-inning grand slam and had to settle for a bases-loaded RBI single on a ball that hit high off the wall in right. He walked, singled three times, scored twice, and drove in two. Toshiro Miyazaki also had three hits, scored twice, and drove in three.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Naoyuki Uwasawa (2-2, 3.99) vs Masahiro Tanaka (2-1, 2.12)

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

Manabu Mima (2-0, 3.94) vs Daiki Tajima (1-1, 2.97)

Hawks vs Lions: PayPay Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Nick Martinez (1-0, 0.00) vs Wataru Matsumoto (1-3, 4.18)

Central League

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

Fernando Romero (-) vs Masashi Ito (2-0, 1.71)

Dragons vs Carp: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Koji Fukutani (1-2, 4.18) vs Allen Kuri (3-3, 3.23)

Active roster moves 5/7/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/17

Central League

Activated

TigersIF62Kai Ueda
SwallowsC33Soma Uchiyama

Dectivated

None

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP44Kaito Yoza
LionsIF3Hotaka Yamakawa
LionsOF9Fumikazu Kimura
FightersC64Yua Tamiya
FightersIF70Junnosuke Imai
FightersIF93Ryunosuke Higuchi
FightersOF4Yuya Taniguchi
FightersOF50Ryota Isobata

Dectivated

LionsP15Tetsu Miyagawa

NPB wrap 5-2-21

More Fighters games postponed

NPB announced Sunday that in addition to that day’s canceled game at Sapporo Dome against the Seibu Lions, the virus-hit Nippon Ham Fighters, with 10 first-team infections, have ceased baseball activities until cleared fit by local health authorities.

Their Pacific League series against the Lotte Marines in Chiba from Monday to Wednesday have been postponed with further postponements likely.

Sato cleans up

Tigers 7, Carp 3

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin rookie Teruaki Sato batted fourth, which was salivation material to begin with before he hit a game-changing grand slam. His homer turned a mediocre start from Joe Gunkel (5-0) into a winning effort. Gunkel started the season with four wipe-out starts, but has been more ordinary since, allowing three runs over five innings on Saturday.

Hiroshima’s Yusuke Nomura (0-3) allowed five runs in four-plus innings, leaving after Sato took him deep in the fifth.

Hanshin leadoff man Koji Chikamoto and No. 3 hitter Jefry Marte each reached base five times. Chikamoto stole two bases and scored three runs, while Marte scored one and drove in one.

BayStars 10, Swallows 2

At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA’s Tyler Austin homered off the scoreboard, singled twice walked and scored three runs to help power the BayStars. The home run was his fourth and his third in four days. Neftali Soto doubled in a run in DeNA’s six-run seventh.

Southpaw Edwin Escobar (1-0) struck out two in a 1-2-3 sixth to earn the win and Kevin Shackelford worked a perfect eighth for the BayStars, while Hirotoshi Takanashi (2-1) allowed four runs, one earned, over five-plus innings and took the loss.

Eagles 6, Marines 5

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, the marquee pitching matchup between first-year left-handers was interrupted by rain and turned into a slug fest, that was decided when leadoff man Takashi Ogino slammed a fastball off closer Yuki Matsui (0-1) to break a ninth-inning tie.

Rakuten’s Ryosuke Tatsumi dealt the first big blow, capping a three-run fourth off Shota Suzuki with his sixth home run. Eagles starter Takahisa Hayakawa threw a high straight fastball to Brandon Laird, whose third homer of the year, a three-run shot in the sixth made it a 5-4 game. The Eagles tied it against Frank Herrmann in the seventh with the help of an error.

The game was notable for balls getting stuck in odd places. The Marines opened the scoring after a drive from Hisanori Yasuda got stuck between the padding atop the left field wall and the screen atop it. Another stuck ball, in Rakuten catcher Hikaru Ota’s mask in the ninth, allowed a runner on base to advance.

Buffaloes 5, Hawks 4

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix outslugged SoftBank thanks to two-run homers by Steven Moya, his third, and Yuma Mune, his second, and a solo shot by Torai Fushimi, his first. Sachiya Yamasaki (1-3) allowed two runs in six-plus innings.

Yurisbel Gracial hit his fifth homer of the year for the Hawks, a two-run shot in the eighth, that made it a one-run game.

Pacific League

Starting pitchers

Lions vs Buffaloes: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Matt Dermody (-) vs Hiroya Miyagi (2-0, 1.26)

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

Akira Niho (-) vs Ryota Takinaka (1-2, 7.90)

Central League

Dragons vs BayStars: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kodai Umetsu (-) vs Michael Peoples (-)

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

Masato Morishita (3-2, 1.80) vs Seishu Hatake (2-1, 4.95)

Active roster moves 5/2/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/12. Players marked with an asterisk are coronavirus activations and deactivations, meaning they can be recalled as soon as they are cleared even before 10 days pass.

Central League

Activated

None

Dectivated

SwallowsP14Hirotoshi Takanashi

Pacific League

Activated

BuffaloesP58Kazuyuki Kaneda
BuffaloesOF69Stefen Romero

Dectivated

LionsP40Ichiro Tamura
LionsP45Keisuke Honda
FightersC60Takuya Kori
FightersIF53Ronny Rodriguez*
FightersIF91Yuto Takahama*
BuffaloesP63Soichiro Yamazaki
BuffaloesIF36Tatsuya Yamaashi

NPB wrap 4-30-21

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Dickson on the outside

Orix Buffaloes right-hander Brandon Dickson may be unable to come to Japan this season due to difficulties obtaining visas for his family during the current state of emergency, Nikkan Sports reported Friday.

The 36-year-old in his ninth season with Orix, spent the entire 2020 season away from his family due to the coronavirus pandemic but had expected them to come with him this year. Dickson, a starter for his first six seasons before spending time as the Buffaloes – and Team USA closer – from 2019, was expected to return to Orix’s starting rotation this season.

3 Fighters KO’d by virus

Three Nippon Ham Fighters, outfielder Haruki Nishikawa, shortstop Takuya Nakashima and catcher Yushi Shimizu were all sidelined Friday by positive coronavirus tests, and they were joined by outfielder Daiki Asama, who is quarantining as a potential close contact.

The Coronavirus Kid returns

The Lotte Marines on Friday lifted the indefinite suspension on Ikuhiro Kiyota, who was held responsible for the Lotte Marines’ 2020 coronavirus outbreak that sidelined 14 players. The outbreak was discovered after the club returned from a road trip to Sapporo, although no players were known to have violated protocols. Kioyota, however, was suspended after photos of him eating out with a female companion while in Sapporo were later published.

Yanagi outduels Sugano

Dragons 3, Giants 2

At Tokyo Dome, Chunichi’s Yuya Yanagi (2-1) threw an artistic seven innings, locating his fastball and mixing it with a dynamite curve and changeup to strike out nine while allowing two runs in his seventh and final inning of work.

The right-hander gave up four hits, two in the seventh, and walked three. The walks forced him to escape a two-out bases-loaded jam in the second by retiring Sugano. Yanagi dominated for the next four innings before hard-hit balls by Justin Smoak and Zelous Wheeler set the table for the Yomiuri fightback.

Tomoyuki Sugano (2-2) lacked his customary razor-sharp command, and threw hittable strikes when he got behind in counts and allowed six hits but no walks. Sugano was burned in the second when Dayan Viciedo turned on an inside fastball and lined it into the left-field stands at the ballpark – emptied of fans due to the coronavirus state of emergency in effect that also forced the games at Koshien and Kyocera Dome to be held behind closed doors. The home run was Viciedo’s third.

With two on and one out in the inning, Akira Neo grounded to first but Smoak failed to stop it for a run-scoring error. After Yanagi hit the ball hard for the second out, Sugano hit a batter to load the bases. However, the ace passed his biggest test of the night by striking out Yota Kyoda on four pitches.

Akira Neo doubled and scored in the fourth on a single by rookie Wataru Takamatsu, who drove in the first run of his career.

Katsuki Matayoshi worked a scoreless eighth instead of regular setup man Daisuke Sobue, and Raidel Martinez carved up the heart of the Giants order in the ninth for his third save.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Swallows 4, BayStars 0

At Yokohama Stadium, Yakult rookie Yuto Kanakubo (1-1) struck out six over six innings, while DeNA lefty Yuya Sakamoto took a direct hit on his pitching shoulder from a Munekata Murakami line drive to open the second and left the game.

Tetsuto Yamada doubled in two runs in the third inning, and the visitors added two more in the sixth, when Jose Osuna doubled with two outs and scored on Domingo Santana’s second home run off fellow first-year import Kevin Shackelford.

Tigers 4, Carp 2

At Koshien Stadium, Hiroshima’s Allen Kuri (3-3) did well to only allow four runs over five innings after walking four over the first two. He walked six and allowed eight hits, while Hanshin’s Takumi Akiyama (3-2) gave up two runs over 7-1/3 innings.

Jerry Sands broke the ice in the first with a two-out RBI single, and walked and scored in the Tigers’ two-run fifth. Kevin Cron broke up the Tigers’ bid for a shutout in the eighth with a pinch-hit leadoff homer, his third. Hanshin closer Robert Suarez pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save.

Rookie Takumu Nakano reached base twice and scored the Tigers second run while putting on a fielding clinic at shortstop.

Eagles 8, Marines 1

At Rakuten Seimei Park, Rauten’s  Hideaki Wakui (4-0) walked four, including three straight in the second inning to give Lotte the lead, only for the Marines to return the favor with back-to-back two-out errors and two unearned runs in the home half.

Brandon Dixon and Japanese baseball culture

Marines starter Toshiya Nakamura (0-1) allowed five runs, three earned over five innings. Brandon Dixon tripled in two runs in the third as the Eagles cruised.

Lions 5, Fighters 1

At Sapporo Dome, Seibu’s Kona Takahashi (4-0) allowed a run over six innings, followed by scoreless innings from Reed Garrett and Kaima Taira before the Lions opened the game up in the ninth on Sosuke Genda’s two-run triple. Tomoya Mori doubled and tripled and scored two of Seibu’s first three runs.

Drew VerHagen (0-2) allowed three runs, two earned, over 5-1/3 innings to take the loss.

Buffaloes 5, Hawks 4

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix victimized SoftBank’s normally reliable bullpen to overturn the visitors’ late 4-2 lead, scoring a run off setup man Livan Moinelo and two off Sho Iwasaki (1-1), who worked the ninth in place of right-handed closer Yuito Mori, who was deactivated to have inflammation in his left elbow treated.

Shuta Ishikawa allowed two runs, one earned, over seven innings but came up empty.

Masataka Yoshida opened Orix’s eighth with his sixth home run on an off night for Moinelo, who walked two batters. The lefty got a double play and escaped the inning with the tying run at the plate when pinch-runner Yuya Ota was out trying to take second on a bounced pitch.

Yuma Tongu and Kotaro Kurebayashi singled to open the ninth. After a failed two-strike bunt, Yuma Mune doubled them both home over the drawn-in outfield to win it.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Naoyuki Uwasawa (2-2, 4.31) vs Keisuke Honda (0-1, 4.91)

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

Masahiro Tanaka (1-1, 3.27) vs Kota Futaki (1-1, 2.42)

Buffaloes vs Hawks: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Hirotoshi Masui (1-2, 2.82) vs Nick Martinez (-)

Central League

Giants vs Dragons: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Nobutaka Imamura (2-0, 1.62) vs Shinnosuke Ogasawara (1-2, 2.45)

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

Ko Nakagawa (0-0, 0.00) vs Hirotoshi Takanashi (2-0, 3.43)

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

Masashi Ito (2-0, 1.71) vs Koya Takahashi (1-0, 1.74)

Active roster moves 4/30/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/10

Central League

Activated

TigersOF53Kairi Shimada
BayStarsP35Tomoya Mikami

Dectivated

TigersOF97Dan Onodera
BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama

Pacific League

Activated

MarinesIF55Adeiny Hechavarria
LionsOF72Seiji Kawagoe
EaglesP40Takuma Uchima
FightersP49Katsuhiko Kumon
FightersC22Shinya Tsuruoka
FightersC30Shingo Usami
FightersIF2Kenshi Sugiya
FightersIF45Shota Hiranuma

Dectivated

HawksP18Shota Takeda
HawksP38Yuito Mori
MarinesIF23Ryo Miki
LionsOF51Manaya Nishikawa
FightersC10Yushi Shimizu
FightersIF9Takuya Nakashima
FightersOF7Haruki Nishikawa
FightersOF26Daiki Asama

NPB wrap 4-25-21

Sands decides wild Tigers win

Tigers 7, BayStars 5

At Koshien Stadium, there was plenty of weirdness in the air in a see-saw game decided when Hanshin’s Jerry Sands hammered a ball out to center for a two-run, tie-breaking seventh-inning homer in Central League-leading Hanshin’s win over last-place DeNA.

Rookie Teruaki Sato gave the Tigers a jump start by plating Sands with a two-run second-inning homer, but the visitors tied it in the fourth with one lucky hit and three hits on good swings from the top of the order against starter Joe Gunkel. The right-hander allowed another run from the same crew in the fifth.

Gunkel, however, opened the Tigers’ fifth with a booming double and scored from third on a wild pitch, with BayStars starter Kosuke Sakaguchi hurting his non-pitching wrist when he and Gunkel collided at home. A double, a walk and and an uncaught pop fly near the mound put the Tigers back in front 4-3.

With Gunkel gone after 5-2/3 innings, the weirdness shifted to right field. After a leadoff walk to Tomo Otosaka, who scored three of the DeNA runs, rookie Sato, a novice outfielder, took a bad route to a sinking liner in right and came up empty. Tyler Austin, who had singled and walked so far, then got some revenge on Koshien Stadium.

A year ago, Austin was hurt running into the padded outfield wall in right, and on Sunday he launched a drive to the same spot that Sato couldn’t catch off the screen for an RBI double and a 4-4 tie. Keita Sano, who had two RBI singles so far, hit a foul sacrifice fly to put DeNA up a run.

The Tigers then clinched it in the seventh. A single, a wild pitch, a walk and a sacrifice put two in scoring position. Koji Chikamoto challenged Otosaka’s arm in center on a medium-deep fly and scored on the wide throw.

Tigers captain Kento Itohara took third when BayStars catcher Shuto Takajo turned his back on the infield. The Pro Yakyu News guys attributed what happened next to Itohara’s base running, that it so unnerved the DeNA battery that they threw a 1-0 fastball down the pipe. It was just above the knees, but it ran onto the barrel and Sands didn’t miss.

Tigers lefty Suguru Iwazaki pitched out of a two-on one-out pickle in the eighth, and Robert Suarez surrendered singles to Austin and Sano before getting his sixth save with three straight outs.

Swallows 4, Dragons 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, where balls were really flying, Yakult out-homered Chunichi 4-2 and held on to give Opening Day starter Yasuhiro Ogawa (2-1) the win after he gave up three runs on eight hits but no walks over seven innings.  

Shinnosuke Ogasawara (1-2) allowed solo homers to Yuhei Nakamura in the first and to Munetaka Murakami and newcomers Domingo Santana and Jose Osuna in the fourth, and Chunichi was unable to catch up against the Swallows’ steady bullpen. Noboru Shimizu, who led the CL with 30 holds last season, recorded his CL-best 11th, and Taichi Ishiyama tied Kuribayashi for the CL lead with his eighth save.

Dayan Viciedo doubled to drive in the Dragons’ third run, the only one not to score on a ball over the wall.

Carp 9, Giants 8

At Tokyo Dome, Hiroshima’s new cleanup hitter, the relatively powerless (at least for a No. 4 hitter) Ryoma Nishikawa with one home run in every 40 at-bats over his career, had four singles and a walk, scored a run and drove in three. Kevin Cron belted a two-run homer, his second in Japan, for the Carp, who led 8-2 before the Yomiuri Giants tested their young bullpen.

And they are young, with their three top draft picks from last autumn all contributing. ON Sunday, they sent Robert Corniel (25), 22-year-old lefty Daisuke Moriura (No. 2), 22-year-old Haruki Omichi (No. 3), 24-year-old lefty Atsuya Horie, and 24-year-old top draft pick Ryoji Kuribayashi to the mound.

Corniel worked two scoreless innings, but Moriura, Omichi and Horie allowed six between them. Another rookie, 21-year-old Shohei Nakamura, Hiroshima’s top pick in 2017 out of high school, doubled off Giants lefty Kota Nakagawa (1-1) to open the ninth, and leadoff man Ryosuke Kikuchi, who had three hits and scored twice delivered the sac fly. Horie (1-1), who allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning, got the win, and Kuribayashi struck out the meat of the Giants order in the ninth to get his eighth save.

Yusuke Nomura, who extended his Japan record for consecutive starts without a relief appearance to 189 after spending a week on the farm because No. 188 on April 11 was such a dud, allowed two runs over five innings and was out of the game in the sixth with Hiroshima leading by six.

Yomiuri lefty Nobutaka Imamura, who entered the game with a 0.92 ERA, allowed three runs over four-plus innings, but things got worse after he left the mound.

Giants-Carp highlights

Marines 8, Hawks 5

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte rookie Shota Suzuki (1-1) finally got the gift of run support. Pitching for a team that had scored 4.96 runs a game through their first 26, the Marines had scored 1.96 per nine this season when Suzuki was the pitcher of record. The rookie hazing stopped on Sunday, when Lotte staked him to an eight-run lead through six.

Suzuki allowed two runs over 6-1/3 innings, both in the seventh, and looked poised with runners on base. Yuki Matsumoto (1-1) kept the game scoreless through four innings, only to get lit up after two were out. With one on, Leonys Martin singled, Shogo Nakamura doubled in both runners and scored on Hisanori Yasuda’s fifth homer. The Hawks tormented Lotte’s bullpen but the game was out of reach.

Fighters 4, Buffaloes 4

At Sapporo Dome, Nippon Ham’s Chihiro Kaneko turned in a solid effort against his former club, allowing a run on seven hits and a walk over five innings, but middle relief ace Naoki Miyanishi blew a 3-1 Fighters lead in the eighth.

The lefty allowed four hits to the six batters he faced. Adam Jones tied it with a flare pinch-hit single, and Takahiro Okada’s second sac fly of the game plated Kodai Kurebayashi with the go-ahead run.

The Fighters scored three, two earned, off Daichi Takeyasu in the first inning, but then stalled. After a second-inning leadoff single, 16 straight batters were retired before Ronny Rodriguez walked with one out in the seventh. Five straight outs followed before Kensuke tied it in the ninth. Kondo led off and put a quality swing on a low Tyler Higgins fastball and drove it out to left for his fourth home run.

Steven Moya doubled and scored in the second on Okada’s first sac fly, and Orix twice wasted scoring opportunities, once when Ryo Ota was picked off second after Ryo Adachi whiffed on an attempted bunt. Adachi struck out and Masataka Yoshida, back in a more conventional role as the No. 3 hitter after Orix manager had put the light-hitting Adachi there for a few games, singled over third baseman Takuya Kori, who was playing in shallow right.

Shifting on Yoshida

The Fighters have tried numerous different shifts against Masataka Yoshida the past three seasons, but gave up three hits to the left-handed-hitting pocket battleship on Sunday, when Kori would return to third after two strikes.

In the first inning, Yoshida’s launched a two-strike pitch off the right-field wall for a single. In the third he hit it over Kori’s head into shallow left with two strikes. In the fifth that Yoshida lined a 1-0 changeup through the shift. I’m guessing from the way both Kaneko and Yoshida were smiling and laughing after his hit, neither of them are fans of the shift.

Yoshida didn’t get another crack at the shift after hurting his knee in left field making a good catch in the bottom of the sixth. He went back out in the sixth inning but eventually left to have it iced.

Fighters lefty Mizuki Hori and right-hander Bryan Rodriguez worked a 1-2-3 inning in relief before that lead evaporated in the eighth.

Eagles 8, Lions 4

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Seibu’s Katsunori Hirai (3-1) suffered his first setback in his move from bullpen workhorse to rotation starter, surrendering seven runs over 5-1/3 innings as the Lions lost their sixth straight decision.

Rakuten rookie Takahisa Hayakawa (3-2) gave up three runs over six innings on six hits and a walk while striking out seven. The bottom two hitters in the Eagles’ lineup reached base five times and scored five runs, while No. 2 hitter Hiroto Kobukata and No. 3 hitter Hiroaki Shimauchi combined to drive in six.

Cory Spangenberg had a hit and a walk for the Lions as he provides a much needed bat at second base with Shuta Tonosaki out hurt. Wu Nien-ting continued to play big with a single and a homer

Active roster moves 4/25/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/5

Central League

Activated

BayStarsP92Yuki Kuniyoshi
BayStarsP93Ko Nakagawa
BayStarsC36Shuto Takajo
BayStarsOF33Tomo Otosaka
CarpP19Yusuke Nomura

Dectivated

GiantsP20Shosei Togo
BayStarsP27Taiga Kamichatani
BayStarsP41Shuto Sakurai
BayStarsP64Ren Kazahari
BayStarsC50Yuudai Yamamoto
BayStarsOF63Taiki Sekine

Pacific League

Activated

MarinesIF44Seiya Inoue

Dectivated

MarinesOF31Tsuyoshi Sugano