Interleague Day 7
The Pacific League began the second week of interleague by going 3-2-1 in Central League’s lead this season to 19-17-4. The PL has outscored the CL 180-167. The Dragons’ 1-0 win kept them top of the IL standings at 5-1-1.
Yuya Yanagi continued to be the CL’s pitching star, with a one-hit shutout of the Lotte Marines.
Giants go back to international scouts
The Yomiuri Giants, who fired their international scouts last year and reassigned their Japanese international staff, announced Tuesday that they have signed five scouts, all former Giants, which gives them the largest contingent in NPB with most teams relying on two at the most.
The team said Hideki Okajima would be in charge of the west, with Casey McGehee and George Arias handling the middle of the U.S. and Scott Mathieson and Garret Jones in charge of the east.
Lions 4, Giants 4
At Tokyo Dome, Ernesto Mejia hit a two-run pinch-hit ninth-inning homer and Tomoya Mori a game-tying shot off Yomiuri closer Rubby De La Rosa as Seibu pulled even in the top of the ninth and Kaima Taira secured the tie.
Seibu starter Wataru Matsumoto kept it close through the fourth inning, when Kazuma Okamoto opened the scoring with his 15th home run. Matsumoto, whose career has been dogged by walks, didn’t walk a batter till the fifth, when he walked three and the Giants took a four-run lead.
The Lions, who have been severely afflicted by the coronavirus, got on the board through rookie Shunichiro Kishi’s leadoff homer in the seventh. Kishi singled to lead off the ninth and scored on Mejia’s first homer.
Swallows 7, Eagles 4
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult rookie Hiroki Onishi pitched two scoreless innings of relief and the Swallows came from behind in a five-run seventh to hand him his first career win. Munetaka Murakami capped the rally with a two-run home run, his 15th, keeping him even with the Giants’ Kazuma Okamoto.
Takahiro Shiomi allowed a run over five innings in his season debut, and Tomohiro Anraku followed with a scoreless inning before Tomohito Sakai (1-1) retired just one of the four batters he faced.
BayStars 4, Hawks 3
At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA rookie Shugo Maki went 4-for-4 with a second-inning RBI single and a pair of doubles, including one with that plated two in the eighth inning to give the BayStars their first lead.
DeNA’s bullpen outpitched SoftBank’s, so we get to say that at least once this season, as the Hawks wasted a solid start from Shota Takeda, who allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings. Ryoya Kurihara brought the visitors from behind with a two-run third-inning home run, his sixth, off Michael Peoples, who allowed three runs over four innings.
Tyler Austin reached base three times for the BayStars and scored twice, while closer Kazuki Mishima secured his eighth save when pinch-runner Ukyo Shuto made the final out trying to go from first to third on a wild pickoff throw with Maki getting the assist on the out.
Dragons 1, Marines 0
At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi’s Yuya Yanagi (5-1) continued to look the best pitcher in Japan this season, facing one batter over the minimum after allowing a hit, a walk, getting a double play and striking out eight.
The Dragons had three of their eight hits in the first inning off Kota Futaki (2-3), Daiki Mitsumata and Nobumasa Fukuda doubling with one out, although Fukuda was cut down trying to score from second on Dayan Viciedo’s one-out single.
Buffaloes 5, Tigers 2
At Koshien Stadium, 19-year-old rookie Kotaro Kurebayashi doubled, singled and drove in four runs as Orix broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth with three unearned runs off reliever Suguru Iwazaki.
Yuki Nishi worked seven innings against his former team, and drove in a run for the Tigers. With one out in the eighth, an error by rookie shortstop Takumu Nakano helped prolong the inning. Iwazaki allowed an RBI single and a walk, and Kosuke Baba surrendered a two-run single to Kurebayashi that iced it.
Buffaloes starter Taisuke Yamaoka (3-4) struck out nine and also allowed two runs over seven. Tyler Higgins pitched the eighth, throwing his second straight scoreless innings since returning from the minors. Yoshihisa Hirano earned his second save.
Fighters 7, Carp 3
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Nippon Ham’s Ryo Watanabe and Kensuke Kondo each hit two-run homers, Watanabe his first, Kondo his seventh, off Hiroshima ace Daichi Osera (2-2), who gave up six runs over four innings. Fighters starter Naoyuki Uwasawa (5-2) who allowed three runs, two earned, while striking out seven over 6-2/3 innings.
My favorite matchup on Wednesday is going to Hanshin’s Takumi Akiyama against Orix Buffaloes rookie Hiroya Miyagi: a poised veteran right-hander against an uncannily poised teenage lefty.
Giants vs Lions: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Swallows vs Eagles: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT
BayStars vs Hawks: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Dragons vs Marines: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Tigers vs Buffaloes: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Carp vs Fighters: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 6/1/2021