There were only three games in Japan on Thursday due to a rainout, and only one featuring a clear pennant contender–sorry Lotte fans.
The DeNA BayStars hosted their final game at Tokyo Dome before their return to Yokohama Stadium, which had been the Tokyo Olympics’ main venue, and did well in the get-away-from-home game, thanks to their outfielders making the biggest plays.
Thank god it’s Friday
…when a trio of Olympic medalists will start in the Pacific League, Masahiro Tanaka for the Eagles, Yoshinobu Yamamoto for the Buffaloes, and Nick Martinez for the Hawks. If these guys stay in their Friday slots for a while, there are going to be some seriously fun matchups.
BayStars 5, Tigers 4
At Tokyo Dome, DeNA broke a 2-2 lead when Tigers center fielder Koji Chikamoto failed to catch a shallow sinking liner and it bounced under his glove for a two-run fifth-inning double. BayStars center fielder Masayuki Kuwahara robbed Mel Rojas Jr by making that play for the first out in the seventh, when reliever Edwin Escobar held the Tigers to a run.
Teruaki Sato hit his 23rd home run leading off the ninth against Kazuki Mishima, tying Hanshin’s rookie record, and scored three runs. Mishima then gave up a drive to the right-field wall to Rojas, who was once more victimized, this time by defensive replacement Taishi Kusumoto. Mishima allowed also allowed a single but hung on to record his 17th save.
BayStars starter Yuya Sakamoto (4-2, 4.06) who beat the Tigers in his last start before the break, made it two straight against the league leaders by allowing two runs over six innings. Shintaro Fujinami (3-3, 4.70) allowed four runs over 4-2/3 innings.
Carp 3, Dragons 1
At Vantelin Dome Nagoya Daichi Osera (5-3, 3.21) worked seven scoreless innings to outduel 2021 Sawamura Award winner Yudai Ono (3-8, 3.46), who allowed a run over six. Osera had a hand in both of the Carp’s run-scoring innings.
His two-out fifth-inning single brought up Takayoshi Noma, who singled in the go-ahead run, and Osera’s one-out sacrifice preceded a seventh-inning triple by Noma, who scored on a Hisayoshi Chono single.
Osera got out of his biggest jam by striking out Nobumasa Fukuda to end the sixth after intentionally walking Dayan Viciedo, who singled in Chunichi’s only run in the eighth.
Rookie Ryoji Kuribayashi worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to nail down his 19th save.
Marines 3, Lions 3
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte rookie Shota Suzuki had one bad inning, when the Lions got a few good swings on tough pitches before he grooved a fastball with two on to Hotaka Yamakawa, drove it well back into the left-field stands for his 15th home run.
Seibu starter Keisuke Honda, on the other hand, worked five scoreless innings in which he stranded seven base runners. Shogo Nakamura singled in a run against deposed closer Tatsushi Masuda to make it 3-1 in the seventh.
Lions reliever Reed Garrett allowed a one-out scratch single, and issued a two-out walk when he missed twice just inside. He got ahead 0-2 against Toshiya Sato, but a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Sato made weak contact on a low 3-2 slider, bouncing it between first and second to tie it with a two-run single.
Lotte’s Naoya Masuda worked a 1-2-3 ninth to prevent a Lions’ win, and Kaima Taira did that to the Marines in the home half.
Buffaloes vs Fighters
At Hotto Motto Field Kobe, rained out.
Fighters vs Eagles: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Hawks vs Marines: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs BayStars: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Dragons vs Tigers: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Carp vs Swallows: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 8/19/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/29