Tag Archives: Edwin Escobar

NPB Wrap 5-5-21

Fit to be tied

Hawks 5, Eagles 5

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Rakuten closer Yuki Matsui blew a one-run save opportunity, but struck out Yuki Yanagita to end the game with the winning run on third, forcing the game to end in a tie and causing both teams to celebrate not losing at the same time, which is something I’d never seen before.

Softbank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada deserved to lose this one after allowing five runs over five innings, but Seiji Uebayashi homered and doubled to drive in the Hawks’ first three runs and singled in the tying run in the ninth on a 1-2, two-out pitch from Matsui.

Taichi Suzuki delivered the big blow for the Eagles with a two-out three-run second-inning double in support of Takahiro Norimoto, who allowed four runs over six innings.

Lions 6, Buffaloes 2

At MetLife Dome, Seibu lit up Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-3), who allowed five runs, four earned, in 6-1/3 innings on a career-worst 10 hits. Lions right-hander Tatsuya Imai (2-2), whose biggest issue is walks, issued four, but non until there were two outs in the sixth and he was leading 3-0.

Sosuke Genda powered the Lions offense with a single, double and triple, three runs and an RBI. Imai allowed two runs, but left with two on and two outs in the eighth. Without closer Tatsushi Masuda on the farm due to poor results and Reed Garrett sidelined by a drive off his knee on Tuesday, 2020 PL rookie of the year Kaima Taira struck out Steven Moya to end the eighth and retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his first save.

Swallows 2, Tigers 2

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Norichika Aoki ended what had been a futile 0-for-3 day at the plate by sliding under Hanshin first baseman Jefry Marte’s tag to drive in the tying run with an eighth-inning RBI infield single. After that, Swallows closer Taichi Ishiyama and Tigers closer Robert Suarez ensured the game ended in a tie, the first for the Central League-leading Tigers.

Marte drove in both Tigers’ runs, with a two-out, third-inning bases-loaded single off rookie Yasunobu Okugawa, and made a big blay in the field, throwing out the lead runner on a good bunt by the Swallows pitcher with runners on first and second and no outs in the fifth. The play prevented Kotaro Yamasaki’s two-outs single from scoring two and tying the game.

Tigers side-armer Koyo Aoyagi allowed a run over six innings. Yakult center fielder Yasutaka Shiomi was sidelined with an “injured tooth” from a medicine ball striking him in the face during pregame practice, Nikkan Sports reported.

Dragons 4, BayStars 0

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, DeNA Opening Day starter Haruhiro Hamaguchi (2-3) allowed three singles and a walk over six innings while striking out eight.

Keita Sano and rookie Shugo Maki reached to set the table in the seventh, and Masayuki Kuwahara delivered two-run pinch-hit single to chase Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-2). Koki Yamashita followed with another two-run pinch-hit single off Keisuke Tanimoto.

Edwin Escobar, Yasuaki Yamasaki and Kazuki Mishima followed Hamaguchi out of the DeNA bullpen for an inning each with Yamasaki providing all the drama and having to strike out Mike Gerber with the bases-loaded to preserve the shutout.

Giants 4, Carp 0

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Yomiuri’s Angel Sanchez (2-2) scattered six hits over seven innings, and four relievers completed the seven-hit, no-walk shutout. Rookie Hiroshima lefty Koya Takahashi (1-1) allowed a run over six innings on four hits and a walk, while striking out six in the tough loss.

A Hayato Sakamoto single and a Zelous Wheeler double to open the fourth set up the first run, with Sakamoto coming home on a Hiroyuki Nakajima sac fly. Pinch-hitter Yoshiyuki Kamei doubled in two runs in the ninth to ice it.

Lions’ Neal tunes up on farm

Active roster moves 5/5/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/15

Central League

Activated

GiantsP15Angel Sanchez
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa

Dectivated

CarpIF35Takumi Miyoshi

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP47Koki Matsuoka

Dectivated

LionsP64Towa Uema

NPB wrap 5-3-21

1-strike pitch to Yuma

Buffaloes 6, Lions 3

At MetLife Dome, Orix performed two different versions of the Elmore Leonard western “3:10 to Yuma.” Instead of an impoverished rancher getting a villain onto a train bound for Yuma Arizona, the NPB versions involved downtrodden Buffaloes getting the surviving dangerous Lions –on two fastballs: a 2-1 pitch to Yuma Tongu and a 1-1 heater to Yuma Mune.

Tongu’s fourth home run, a three-run sixth-inning homer, opened the scoring. Mune’s, a low liner to center against a drawn-in Lions outfield, iced the game in the eighth. Mune’s was his third of the season and his second in two games.

Keita Sano and Adam Jones co-starred in both versions, opening the sixth and eighth inning with singles off Tetsu Miyagawa (0-1) in the sixth and Ryosuke Moriwaki in the eighth, and then before the Lions knew it, or “あっという間” (attoiuma) as they say in Japanese, it was Yuma time.

The Lions got two back in the seventh against 19-year-old Buffaloes’ lefty Hiroya Miyagi, who had faced one batter over the minimum to that point. A leadoff walk and a single set up one-out Takumi Kuriyama and Cory Spangenberg RBI singles.

The Lions came within a hair of tying it when Wu Nien Ting lined a pitch down the left field line that was ruled to have gone foul by smidgen – or a 10th of a smidge. Wu struck out and Miyagi was charged with two runs over 6-2/3 innings on two walks, a hit batsman and four hits. The rookie struck out five.

By the way, I went to two games at Tigers Stadium in 1999, to see Masao Kida, who earned his only major league game the first night, the same game that Elmore Leonard kicked off by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

The Seibu Lions wasted five scoreless innings from Matt Dermody, whose biggest difficulty in his Japan debut was navigating umpire Shinichiro Hara’s strike zone. Dermody struck out three, walked three and allowed five hits.

Eagles 7, Hawks 4

Eagles 7, Hawks 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Hideto Asamura scored three runs and drove in two as the Rakuten Eagles overcame an early three-run deficit. Ryota Takinaka (2-2) struggled with his control in the first inning, when two of SoftBank’s three runs were unearned, but settled in to go five innings.

SoftBank starter Akira Niho (0-1) cruised through four innings but allowed an unearned run in the fourth and was lit up in the fifth. Asamura, who singled and scored in the fourth, tied it with a two-out, two-run double and scored on a Hiroaki Shimauchi single.

With two outs and first base open in the seventh, the Hawks elected to walk Asamura intentionally, but he scored on a two-run Shimauchi double.

Yuki Matsui earned his eighth save, but the Hawks made him work for it with some gritty at-bats in a 23-pitch inning.

BayStars 2, Dragons 1

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, DeNA starting pitcher Michael Peoples (1-0) couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune time for the Central League’s last-place BayStars. The second-year right-hander struck out six while allowing four hits and walking none over six scoreless innings to win a pitchers’ duel with another 2021 debutant, Chunichi’s Kodai Umetsu (0-1).

Umetsu allowed two runs, one earned, over five innings on two hits, two walks and a hit batsman. The BayStars took the lead thanks to a leadoff error that allowed Peoples to reach and score on a walk, a sacrifice and a groundout. Keita Sano made it 2-0 in the sixth, when he hammered a hanging slider from Keisuke Tanimoto for his third home run.

After a scoreless seventh by Edwin Escobar, right fielder Tyler Austin just barely misjudged a ball, turning a double into a leadoff triple, and allowing Akira Neo to score from third on a ground out against Yasuaki Yamasaki. But that was it for Chunichi’s offense as Kazuki Mishima struck out Mike Gerber and Dayan Viciedo en route to a 1-2-3 ninth and his fifth save.

Giants  3, Carp 2

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Zelous Wheeler hit the Yomiuri Giants’ third home run, a seventh-inning tie-breaking shot off Masato Morishita (3-3), and Yohei Kagiya  (1-0) retired all four batters he faced, including Kevin Cron after he inherited a two-out bases-loaded jam to earn the win.

Hayato Sakamoto fifth homer opened the scoring for the Giants, and Yoshihiro Maru’s second tied it in the sixth. Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki hit a two-run shot in the third. The Giants used four pitchers to get through the ninth. Thyago Vieira entered with one out and surrendered two hits. Yuhei Takanashi entered with two outs and the bases loaded and retired pinch-hitter Kosuke Tanaka to earn his first save.

I leave you with 8-time Golden Glove winner Ryosuke Kikuchi’s 5th inning robbery.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Lions vs Buffaloes: MetLife Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Towa Uema (1-1, 5.02) vs Daichi Takeyasu (1-0, 3.21)

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

Shunsuke Kasaya (1-2, 4.30) vs Takayuki Kishi (2-2, 3.34)

Central League

Swallows vs Tigers: Jingu Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kazuto Taguchi (1-2, 4.26) vs Yuki Nishi (3-2, 2.38)

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

Yudai Ono (1-2, 2.50) vs Shinichi Onuki (1-2, 5.27)

Carp vs Giants: Mazda Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Hiroki Tokoda (1-2, 4.56) vs Yuki Takahashi (5-0, 1.80)

Active roster moves 5/3/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/13

Central League

Activated

DragonsP18Kodai Umetsu
BayStarsP13Hiromu Ise
BayStarsP45Michael Peoples
CarpOF59Minoru Omori

Dectivated

BayStarsP12Kosuke Sakaguchi
CarpP19Yusuke Nomura
SwallowsP29Yasuhiro Ogawa

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP13Akira Niho
HawksOF51Seiji Uebayashi
LionsP28Ryosuke Moriwaki
LionsP98Matt Dermody
EaglesP57Ryota Takinaka
BuffaloesP13Hiroya Miyagi

Dectivated

HawksOF54Alfredo Despaigne
BuffaloesP11Sachiya Yamasaki

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 5-1-21

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Fighters-Lions called off due to virus

The Nippon Ham Fighters announced four new positive tests on Saturday, a day after three other players’ positive coronavirus results were announced. Three staff members, including a coach, combined to make the team an official coronavirus cluster, and causing Sunday’s game against the Seibu Lions to be postponed.

It is the first postponement since last summer when a game in Fukuoka between the Hawks and Lions was called off over an abundance of caution after a veteran working out with the farm team was infected.

Tanaka battles through to 2nd win

Eagles 3, Marines 0

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten’s Masahiro Tanaka (2-1) and his manager and pitching coach all said his fastball had more life on it, and it was good, even if he had trouble locating it and did get away with one stinker, and perhaps they were accounting for the fact that Lotte hitters did very little with the pitches he left in the heart of the zone.

Tanaka’s 3rd start and postgame interview

In any case, Tanaka worked six innings. He walked one, hit one, and allowed five hits while striking out six. Hideto Asamura drove in a run with Rakuten’s third third-inning single and Takero Okajima, who drove in a run in Tanaka’s 2-1 win the previous Saturday, hit his second home run of the season, a two-out blast in the fourth off the Marines’ Opening Day starter, Kota Futaki (1-2).

Rakuten’s Sung Chia-hao, Hiromoto Sakai and Yuki Matsui finished up with Matsui getting his seventh save.

Hawks 9, Buffaloes 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, the SoftBank Hawks offense gave new right-hander and former Nippon Ham Fighter Nick Martinez (1-0) a hearty welcome. The nine runs while he was the pitcher of record was the most in his 29 games in Japan. Martinez struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits over six innings.

Buffaloes starter Hirotoshi Masui (1-3) allowed eight runs, six earned, over five innings. 

Fighters 5, Lions 4

At Sapporo Dome, Seibu closer Tatsushi Masuda (0-2) blew a three-run save, surrendering a two-run homer to Sho Nakata – back in the three hole, a Taishi Ota RBI double high off the wall before leaving with two on so Tetsu Miyagawa could walk two batters as Nippon Ham literally walked off.

Nippon Ham’s Opening Day starter, Naoyuki Uwasawa allowed two runs over seven innings, while striking out six, but Cory Spangenberg blasted his first homer in the eighth and Wu Nien-ting doubled and scored another insurance run in the ninth.

Seibu starter Keisuke Honda allowed a run over five innings, and four relievers held the Fighters in check with Reed Garrett working the seventh and Kaima Taira striking out the side in the eighth. Taira recorded a team record of getting a “hold point”–a hold or a win in relief–in 13 straight games.

Dragons 9, Giants 6

At Tokyo Dome, four of Chunichi’s runs scored on ordinary flies that found holes, a pair of RBI flares, and a ninth-inning two-run triple off Thyago Vieira on a routine fly that iced the game and wasn’t caught because Yomiuri played the game by Japan’s book.

The Japanese book says bring the outfield in with two outs and a runner on second to keep him from scoring on a single. Trailing 7-6 in the ninth with two outs and runners on second and third, the Giants’ outfield came in and Yohei Oshima’s poke landed just beyond left fielder Zelous Wheeler’s glove.

With Chunichi’s bullpen, the difference between one and three runs really didn’t matter much. Right-handed side-armer Katsuki Matayoshi has stepped seamlessly into the spot vacated by Daisuke Sobue, who’s now on the farm, while Raidel Martinez was pumped. The right-hander’s roar when he struck out Justin Smoak to end it could be heard over Tokyo’s afternoon thunder.

New Dragon Mike Gerber went 2-for-5 with three strikeouts a single and a booming RBI double in Chunichi’s three-run sixth. Dayan Viciedo homered in the fifth, his fourth of the season and his third in four games.

Smoak and Wheeler helped power the Giants’ comeback from a 7-0 deficit, and a beauty of a swing by Wheeler propelled a seventh-inning curve on the outside corner out to the opposite field to close the gap to a run.

Giants lefty Nobutaka Imamura (2-1) allowed four runs in 4-2/3 innings. Dragons lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara (2-2) struck out seven in five-plus innings, while allowing three runs and singling in a run.

Giants-Dragons highlights

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.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Eagles vs Marines: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Takahisa Hayakawa (3-2, 2.56) vs Shota Suzuki (1-1, 2.45)

Buffaloes vs Hawks: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Sachiya Yamasaki (0-3, 4.56) vs Yuki Matsumoto (1-1, 5.40)

Central League

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

Kousuke Sakaguchi (1-1, 2.79) vs Yasuhiro Ogawa (2-1, 4.23)

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

Joe Gunkel (4-0, 1.78) vs Yusuke Nomura (0-2, 4.42)

Active roster moves 5/1/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/11players marked with an asterisk are coronavirus deactivations and can be activated as soon as they are cleared to play.

Central League

Activated

None

Dectivated

BayStarsP20Yuya Sakamoto

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP37Nick Martinez
MarinesP18Kota Futaki
FightersOF66Chusei Mannami

Dectivated

MarinesP48Toshiya Nakamura
EaglesC44Yuichi Adachi
FightersOF61Yuma Imagawa*

NPB wrap 4-29-21

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Emergency exits

Although Thursday was a national holiday and the start of the Golden Week holidays, two teams opted to postpone their games due to the latest state of emergency in Tokyo and three western prefectures, including Osaka. Rather than play in an empty park on a holiday afternoon, the Yakult Swallows postponed their Central League game with the Yomiuri Giants while the Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes also put off their home game against the Rakuten Eagles.

Chen links

Tigers 6, Dragons 4

At Nagoya‘s Vantelin Dome Chen Wei-Yin (1-0) returned to Nagoya with a flourish, winning his first game in Japan since 2011 and his first as a Hanshin Tigers against his old club, allowing a run over six innings, striking out four, walking none while allowing five hits and getting a pair of double plays. Cleanup hitter Yusuke Oyama drove in four runs to help the Central League leaders snap a seven-game losing streak at Nagoya Dome.

“I wasn’t that good at the start of the game, and I was able to get a lot of support from my teammates,” Chen said in Mandarin through a Japanese language interpreter. “In particular (Jefry) Marte and Oyama put runs on the board that allowed me the breathing room to settle in.”

“I never think much about whether the team is in a losing streak or on a winning streak,” said Chen, whose win snapped a three-game skid. “Thanks to Ryu (catcher Ryutaro Umeno) calling such a steady game, I could just focus on executing my pitches, so I’m grateful to him.”

Marte sparked the Tigers offense with a two-out first-inning triple, a drive to the center field wall that Yohei Oshima nearly caught. Oyama then singled past short off Koji Fukutani (1-2) to open the scoring. The Tigers made it 4-0 in the third. Kento Itohara doubled with one out, Marte walked, and Oyama hit his fifth home run.

Fukutani allowed four runs over six innings on six hits and a walk.

Being Japan, we couldn’t be spared the number 3,497 — the number of days since Chen’s last win in Japan.

BayStars 5, Carp 3,

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Tyler Austin and Neftali Soto showed Japan what it’s been missing early in the season as the pair untied a 1-1 game with one home run each in a three-run third.

Austin went deep for the second straight day with a leadoff homer, and Toshiro Miyazaki’s two-out walk set the table for Soto’s two-run shot off Carp rookie Shogo Tamamura (0-1) in his pro debut baptism of fire. The lefty had been 2-0 in the Western League with some solid numbers, striking out 17 in 17 innings with just three walks, 13 hits and no home runs.

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (1-3) DeNA’s Opening Day starter, allowed three runs on seven hits and no walks over six-plus innings to post his fourth quality start. The lefty got the hook after allowing two runs on three straight no-out hits in the seventh. Edwin Escobar stranded a runner in the inning. Former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki and his successor, Kazuki Mishima kept the Carp of the board in the eighth and ninth with Mishima earning his third save.

Marines 5, Lions 2

At MetLife Dome, Lotte’s Daiki Iwashita (3-2) allowed two runs over six innings while striking out seven, and Leonys Martin got the Marines rolling with a two-run first-inning homer, his Japan-best 10th, off Sho Ito (0-1).

The Marines bullpen resumed normal uninterrupted service with a hat-trick of one-strikeout perfect innings by Frank Herrmann, Yuki Karakawa and closer Naoya Masuda, who earned his fifth save. Marines leadoff man Takashi Ogino walked, singled and scored twice.

The Lions were poised to pull even in the home half of the first with one run in, one out and the bases loaded. Wu Nien-ting chopped a fat pitch up the middle, but Yudai Fujioka dove to keep the ball in the infield and flip to second for a force as a run scored.

Iwashita responded by retiring 16 of the next 18 batters he faced before making way for the bullpen, which retired nine straight.

The Lions’ bright spot was 5-2/3 innings of one-run relief from troubled starter Wataru Matsumoto, who struck out five and walked none.

Hawks 2, Fighters 1

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, SoftBank’s Shota Takeda (2-1) won a pitchers’ duel against surprising Nippon Ham journeyman Takahide Ikeda (2-3), with seven scoreless innings.

Ikeda, acquired in the March deal that sent slugging reserve infielder Taketoshi Yokoo to the Eagles, held the Hawks to two runs over seven runs in his fourth straight quality start. Akira Nakamura opened the scoring with his second homer in the sixth, and Yusuke Masago hit his first of the season in the seventh.

Livan Moinelo worked the eighth for SoftBank, and Yuito Mori worked around the third homer of the season by No. 2 hitter – Pro Yakyu News guys eat your hearts out – Sho Nakata to earn his eighth save.

Wang Po-jung went 2-for-2 with a walk in his season debut for Nippon Ham, but squandered his third-inning leadoff double trying for third in an inning in which the Fighters still stranded a runner.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Drew VerHagen (0-1, 4.26) vs Kona Takahashi (3-0, 3.06)

Eagles vs Marines: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hideaki Wakui (3-0, 1.47) vs Toshiya Nakamura (0-0, 1.80)

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

Taisuke Yamaoka (1-2, 2.32) vs Shuta Ishikawa (1-2, 3.15)

Central League

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

Tomoyuki Sugano (2-1, 1.74) vs Yuya Yanagi (1-1, 1.97)

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

Yuya Sakamoto (1-1, 3.27) vs Yuto Kanakubo (1-0, 2.93)

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

Takumi Akiyama (2-2, 3.91) vs Allen Kuri (3-2, 2.65)

Active roster moves 4/29/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/9

Central League

Activated

TigersP14Chen Wei-Yin
CarpP65Shogo Tamamura
CarpC62Tomoki Ishihara

Dectivated

TigersP42Jon Edwards
CarpP58Reira Fujii
CarpC40Yoshitaka Isomura

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP18Shota Takeda

Dectivated

EaglesP45Yuki Watanabe
FightersP57Toshihiro Sugiura

NPB wrap 4-28-21

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Fighters rookie Ito gets 1st win

Fighters 4, Hawks 3

At Fukuoka’s PayPay DomeHiromi Ito (1-2), Nippon Ham’s top signing from last year’s draft, scattered five walks and four hits over six scoreless innings to get the better of 40-year-old SoftBank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada (2-2).

There were some tense moments at the end, however, as closer Toshihiro Sugiura gave up ninth-inning solo homers to Kenta Imamiya, his second, and Yuki Yanagita, his fifth. Wada allowed four runs on eight hits but no walks over five-plus innings while striking out six.

Kensuke Kondo delivered the big blow for the Fighters with a two-run sixth-inning homer, his fifth.

Lions 3, Marines 2

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Takumi Kuriyama snapped a 2-2 tie with an eighth-inning leadoff homer, his first, off Lotte reliever Yuki Karakawa (1-1). Seibu middle reliever Kaima Taira (1-0), the Pacific League’s 2020 rookie of the year, worked around a leadoff double in the eighth to earn the win, while Tatsushi Masuda pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.

Marines lefty Kazuya Ojima allowed two runs over six. He took a 2-1 lead into the home half of the sixth after Leonys Martin homered to open the top of the inning with his ninth home run of the season. After Kuriyama lined out to lead off the Lions’ sixth, Aito Takeda tied it with his fourth homer. Lotte’s Frank Herrmann pitched out of a two-on two-out jam in the seventh.

The Marines hit into two double plays in the first inning, thanks to a dropped throw by Seibu starter Tatsuya Imai on an attempted 3-6-1 double play and the scoring convention of giving a fielder an assist on outs that aren’t made because of a dropped throw. Imai allowed two runs on two hits and six walks while striking out six over seven innings.

He got out the Marines’ one-run first by an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play. According to Daily Sports, it was the sixth time a team has literally turned two, and the first since July 16, 2011, when the Hiroshima Carp mismanaged the feat.

Buffaloes0,Eagles 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Rakuten veteran Takahiro Norimoto duked it out for eight innings, when Eagles closer Yuki Matsui took over. The lefty overcame a pair of two-out four-pitch walks by striking out Takahiro Okada after falling behind 2-0 to end it as the clubs tied for the second straight night.

Yamamoto struck out five and walked one while allowing three hits in his 96-pitch outing. Norimoto threw 98 pitches, striking out six and walking one while allowing a pair of two-out hits.

Giants 7, Swallows3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yomiuri lefty Yuki Takahashi (5-0) became Japan’s first five-game winner by allowing three runs over six innings as Yoshihiro Maru and Kazuma Okamoto each homered and combined for five RBIs. Justin Smoak went 3-for-4 in his second game with a solo homer and a double.

Albert Suarez (1-2) served up 12 hits and issued a walk, allowing six runs over four innings. Tetsuto Yamada tied Swallows teammate for the Japan home run lead with his 10th home run, his fifth in five games.

Zelous Wheeler hit three doubles for the Giants, while new Swallows import Jose Osuna doubled and walked in four trips to the plate.

BayStars 13, Carp2, 8 innings, rain

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, catcher Hiroki Minei put DeNA up 2-1 in the second with a two-out, two-run double, Tyler Austin put the Carp in a hole with two-run third-inning home run, his second, and reliever Shingo Hirata ended a two-run fifth-inning Carp rally by getting a double play in relief of starter Masaya Kyoyama.

Carp lefty Hiroki Tokoda (1-2) gave up five runs, four earned over four innings. He retired the first five BayStars before Toshiro Miyzaki singled in the second and Neftali Soto doubled to set the table for Minei.

Austin went 3-for-4, while Soto went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in DeNA’s four-run seventh. Rookie Shugo Maki drove in four late runs with RBI doubles. New import Kevin Shackelford and lefty Edwin Escobar each worked a scoreless inning for the BayStars.

Dragons 6,Tigers 1

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Dragons right-hander Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-1) struck out seven over 5-1/3 scoreless innings in which he allowed five hits and a walk. Takuya Kinoshita put Chunichi on the board against right-handed side-armer Koyo Aoyagi (2-2) with a two-out second-inning RBI double and scored on an Akira Neo single.

The Dragons put the game away in the eighth on Nobumasa’s one-out solo homer, his first, and a Dayan Viciedo three-run shot, his first home run since Opening Day.

New Dragons Mike Gerber went 1-for-4 in his Japan debut. Jefry Marte singled and plated the Tigers’ only run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly. Jerry Sands doubled in the second, when the visitors’ rally was cut short on a good play by Dragons shortstop Yota Kyoda.

Aoyagi allowed two runs on a walk and three hits while striking out seven over six innings to take the tough loss.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Lions vs Marines: MetLife Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Sho Ito (0-0, 1.26) vs Daiki Iwashita (2-2, 2.45)

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

Shota Takeda (1-1, 3.24) vs Takahide Ikeda (2-2, 3.42)

Center League

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

Koji Fukutani (1-1, 3.68) vs Chen Wei-Yin (-)

Carp vs BayStars: Mazda Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Shogo Tamamura (-) vs Haruhiro Hamaguchi (0-3, 4.15)

Active roster moves 4/28/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/8

Central League

Activated

GiantsIF98Estamy Urena
DragonsOF99Mike Gerber
BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama

Dectivated

GiantsOF44Eric Thames
DragonsOF6Ryosuke Hirata

Pacific League

Activated

MarinesC53Naoya Emura
EaglesOF25Kazuki Tanaka
BuffaloesP45Shota Abe

Dectivated

HawksOF24Yuya Hasegawa
MarinesC22Tatsuhiro Tamura
BuffaloesP29Daiki Tajima