Yanagita does it again
Sachiya Yamasaki (2-2) was pitching a heck of a game until he tried to get out of the eighth inning with a 2-2 inside fastball to Yuki Yanagita, who drilled it well back in the right-field stands for a three-run homer as the SoftBank Hawks beat the Orix Buffaloes 4-1 in the Pacific League on Saturday afternoon.
Yamasaki had allowed a run in the first on a Yanagita double and an Akira Nakamura single. But the lefty cruised through the next six innings before issuing his first walk to open the eighth. With two outs, he walked Seiji Uebayashi to bring up Yanagita. The lefty started him away to get to 2-2 before trying to surprise Yanagita inside.
The only surprise was in how far Yanagita’s 15th homer of the year traveled.
Yanagita said he was looking for something away, but he never even flinched in that direction and cranked the belt-high pitch on the inside edge well back into the right-field stands.
Hawks starter Nao Higashihama also allowed a run in the first, on doubles by Yuma Mune and Masataka Yoshida. He pitched out of a third-inning jam after Adam Jones lined out to short for the second out with two men on.
The right-hander appeared to have ruptured a blister since there were bloody smudges on his uniform pants when he walked off the mound for the last time. He allowed four hits and four walks while striking out six.
Takahiro Okada doubled off Yuki Tsumori to open the sixth, and the right-hander issued a one-out walk, but the Buffaloes ended the inning on the bases when Okada took off for home when catcher Takuya Kai faked a throw to second on a delayed double steal.
This play, and the incessant sacrifice bunting when trailing by a one or two on the road are two of the Buffaloes trademarks.
Rei Takahashi worked a scoreless seventh, and lefty Shinya Kayama did the same in the eighth to earn the win in relief. Closer Yuito Mori allowed two no-out singles in the ninth but retired the next three hitters to record his 13th save.
Marines rout Fighters
This game was over after a six-run third gave the Lotte Marines an 11-0 lead over the Nippon Ham Fighters in a game that finished 12-5 at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium.
With a huge lead, Lotte ace Ayumu Ishikawa pitched to the score, avoiding walks and giving up five runs on nine hits over six innings as he improved to 3-2.
Lions crush Eagles bullpen in slugfest
This game started from the fourth inning after both Opening Day starters were gone and the game was tied 6-6 as the Seibu Lions crushed the Rakuten Eagles bullpen for seven more runs in a 13-8 win at MetLife Dome outside Tokyo.
The Eagles’ Eigoro Mogi, who homered in each of his first two at-bats, fired the first shot in the fourth. Daichi Suzuki tripled off Tatsuya Imai (3-3) and Mogi plated him for the third time, this time with a single.
Corey Spangenberg tied it with the third of the Lions seven hits in a six-run fifth. Yuji Kaneko singled in the tie-breaking run, and Wataru Takagi drove in his second run of the game. The rookie leadoff man had three hits and scored three times for Seibu.
Rookie Morishita shuts out Tigers
Masato Morishita (4-2), the HIroshima Carp’s top pick in last autumn’s draft, struck out 12 without issuing a walk in a two-hit 6-0 win over the Hanshin Tigers at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.
Hanshin right-hander Shintaro Fujinami (0-4) allowed six runs on eight hits and four walks over six innings while striking out six.
The Carp took a three-run first-inning lead after back-to-back singles by Ryoma Nishikawa and rookie Ryutaro Hatsuki. Seiya Suzuki singled in one run, and Ryuhei Matsuyama doubled in two more.
With Carp leading 4-0 in the sixth, the Tigers filled first base with an intentional walk to get out of the inning against Morishita, but the rookie hit a grounder past the third-base bag for a two-run double.
Nakajima ices Dragons with 200th career HR
Hiroyuki Nakajima homered for the second-straight day, his three-run shot putting the finishing touches on the Yomiuri Giants’ 6-1 win over the Chunichi Dragons at Tokyo Dome.
Singles by Hayato Sakamoto and Gerardo Parra set up the hosts’ score in the first off lefty Takahiro Matsuba (2-3). Sakamoto came home when Zelous Wheeler grounded out. Wheeler made it 3-0 in the third with his fifth homer.
Giants starter Shosei Togo (5-2) struck out seven over 5-2/3 scoreless innings, and Nakajima put the game out of reach with a three-run shot in the sixth off Luis Gonazalez. The home run was the 200th of his career.
Onuki outduels Swallows rookie
Shinichi Onuki (5-2) held the Yakult Swallows to a run over 5-2/3 innings in a close duel with Swallows rookie Daiki Yoshida before the DeNA BayStars blew this one open against the visitors’ bullpen in a 6-2 win at Yokohama Stadium.
Yoshida (1-2) allowed two runs over six innings, but Onuki only allowed three hits and a walk. Yakult’s run off him came from a mammoth blast from 20-year-old Munetaka Murakami, who hit it well up into the right-field wing seats that were installed before last season.
BayStars captain Keita Sano singled home leadoff man Kazuki Kamizato in the first, and Kamizato doubled in a run in the second. Kamizato reached base four times and scored twice.
Spencer Patton and Edwin Escobar each worked a scoreless inning of relief for the BayStars. The game got out of hand for the visitors in the seventh after right-hander Scott McGough walked two batters and hit one.
He surrendered a sac fly to Sano for the second out. Lefty Masato Nakazato came on and failed to retire any of the three batters he faced.
Active roster moves 8/14/2020
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/24
Starting pitchers for Friday, Aug. 14, 2020
Lions vs Eagles: MetLife Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Marines vs Fighters: Zozo Marine Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT
Hawks vs Buffaloes: PayPay Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT
Giants vs Dragons: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT
BayStars vs Swallows: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Tigers vs Carp: Kyocera Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT