Tag Archives: Jefry Marte

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 5-4-21

Neo classic

Dragons 8, BayStars 4

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi rookie Akira Neo hit his first home run, a third-inning grand slam to help ace Yudai Ono (2-2) overcome a pair of home runs to DeNA’s Neftali Soto, his third—a second-inning three-run shot, and Keita Sano, his fourth – a sixth-inning solo homer.

The Dragons scored four in the first against Shinichi Onuki (1-3), who allowed eight runs on eight hits and three walks over three innings. Ono lasted seven innings, struck out five and walked one while allowing seven hits.

Chunichi cleanup hitter Dayan Viciedo singled twice, walked and scored twice.

Tigers 11, Swallows 5

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Jefry Marte singled in Koji Chikamoto to open the scoring for Hanshin in the third inning and snapped a 4-4 tie with a seventh-inning solo homer, the first of four for the Tigers against Yakult’s bullpen, which leads both leagues in holds.

Takumu Nakano hit his first and fellow rookie Teruaki Sato his ninth, while Jerry Sands hit his ninth to put the game away.

Neither starting pitcher had a game worth writing home about. Swallows lefty Kazuto Taguchi worked six innings, while Hanshin’s Yuki Nishi worked five. Each allowed four runs, two earned, in an error-plagued game.

Carp 1, Giants 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Yomiuri starter Yuki Takahashi remained unbeaten in six starts, as the lefty twice pitched out of big jams by retiring Hiroshima’s star hitter Seiya Suzuki. Both Takahashi and Carp lefty Hiroki Tokoda allowed just a run over seven innings.

Suzuki, however, saved the Carp in right field when he robbed Kazuma Okamoto of a two-run double with a leaping catch at the warning track before Tokoda ended his tenure on the bump by striking out Justin Smoak.

Kevin Cron singled and doubled to collect a third of Hiroshima’s hits and scored the hosts’ only run, while Zelous Wheeler singled and scored Yomiuri’s lone run.

Carp closer Ryoji Kuribayashi posted his 14th straight scoreless outing.

Asked on Pro Yakyu News what made Kuribayashi special, former catcher and BayStars skipper Akihiko Oya mentioned not his command, his velocity or that nasty splitter but “He pitches like no one can hit him.”

By that standard, Eddie the Eagle should have been the greatest ski jumper in history.

Hawks 6, Eagles 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Rakuten veteran Takayuki Kishi‘s struggles continued as the right-hander fell to 2-3 after allowing five runs, four earned, over three innings. Hawks reliever Jumpei Takahashi took over in the fifth inning with no outs and a runner on after the Eagles closed to within 6-3. Takahashi allowed the runner to score but stranded two runners and four of his bullpen colleagues slammed the door with lefty Livan Moinelo getting his second save.

Lions 6, Buffaloes 6

At MetLife Dome, Stefen Romero hit his first home run for Orix in two years after spending a productive 2020 with the Rakuten Eagles. His two-run, eighth-inning shot tied the game, and Seibu’s Ryosuke Moriwake got out of a one-out, bases-loaded ninth-inning pickle with a double play.

The Buffaloes’ Masataka Yoshida went 4-for-5 with a double and his seventh home run. His three RBIs helped stake the visitors to a 4-2 fifth-inning lead.

Yoshida also contributed to both teams combining to set a nine-inning record with 16 pitchers after he knocked Seibu’s Reed Garrett out of the game in the ninth with a shot off his left knee.

With closer Tatsushi Masuda deactivated following a string of poor results, Lions manager Hatsuhiko Tsuji had hoped to use Garrett in that role.

“I think it may be hard for Garrett to come back tomorrow,” Tsuji said according to Sanspo.com.

Cory Spangenberg walked to leadoff the Lions’ second and scored on an Aito Takeda single. He walked to load the bases in the fourth ahead of Wu Nien-ting’s RBI single and Takeda’s two-run double.

The Lions put runners on the corners in the ninth against former Tiger ace Atsushi Nomi, but the 40-year-old hung on to end the game thanks to a super defensive stop by substitute Koji Oshiro at second that secured a tie with the third out.

More Fighters felled by virus

The Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters, currently on hiatus due to the coronavirus, announced three new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total of infected first-team players and staff to 13, Nikkan Sports reported.

In addition to the staff, coaches and players who have tested positive, five players have been determined to have had close contact with them. The Fighters have not played since Saturday. Their next scheduled game is scheduled for Friday at Sapporo Dome, but it will not take place unless Nippon Ham can field a virus-free team.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Lions vs Buffaloes: MetLife Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Tatsuya Imai (1-2, 2.40) vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-2, 1.39)

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

Tsuyoshi Wada (2-2, 3.34) vs Takahiro Norimoto (2-1, 2.14)

Central League

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

Yasunobu Okugawa (1-1, 7.20) vs Koyo Aoyagi (2-2, 2.25)

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

Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-1, 3.12) vs Haruhiro Hamaguchi (1-3, 4.22)

Carp vs Giants: Mazda Stadium 1:30 pm, 0:30 am EDT

Koya Takahashi (1-0, 1.74) vs Angel Sanchez (1-2, 5.89)

Active roster moves 5/4/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/14

Central League

Activated

GiantsP21Shoichi Ino
GiantsP50Chiaki Tone
CarpOF49Yuya Shozui

Dectivated

GiantsP45Seishu Hatake
GiantsP49Thyago Vieira
CarpC27Tsubasa Aizawa

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP29Ryuya Ogawa
EaglesC55Takaya Tanaka
BuffaloesP22Ryota Muranishi

Dectivated

HawksP13Akira Niho
LionsP14Tatsushi Masuda
EaglesP57Ryota Takinaka
FightersC68Ryo Ishikawa
FightersIF23Ryo Watanabe
BuffaloesP68Yu Suzuki

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 5-2-21

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 4-29-21

Subscribe this week and get 1 free month

Do you enjoy jballallen.com? Would you like to receive a weekly newsletter and unlimited access to posts, pages, and live chats? Subscribe by Sunday, May 2, and get 1 month free. Without support from the readers, this website doesn’t exist.

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 4-24-21

Tanaka ‘comes home’, wins 100th in Japan

Eagles 2, Lions 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Masahiro Tanaka (1-1) earned his 100th victory in Japan in his first game back at Rakuten’s home park since saving Game 7 of the 2013 Japan Series. He allowed a run on a walk and three hits while striking out four over six innings.

His postgame hero interview began with the announcer welcoming him back to Sendai, to which he answered, “I’m home.”

Notes on Tanaka’s 2nd start

A day after homering in his Japan debut, Brandon Dixon drove in the first of two Eagles first-inning runs with a two-out bad-hop infield single, and looked like a Golden Glove winner at first base after a quick-thinking unassisted double play after he dropped a scorching second-inning liner.

That play and a good catch in center to open the game ensured Tanaka would only allow one run. Cory Spangenberg was hit by a pitch in the third, stole second and scored when Wu Nien-Ting did a good job singling on a low splitter. Tanaka allowed another single in the inning, but with the game in the balance, retired the last 10 batters he faced.

Sung Chia-hao, HIromoto Sakai and Yuki Matsui closed it out for the Eagles with one scoreless inning each.

Keisuke Honda (0-1) allowed two runs over 3-2/3 innings in his season debut for Seibu. Reed Garrett contributed a scoreless eighth for the Lions.

Fighters 5, Buffaloes 3

At Sapporo Dome, the Nippon Ham Fighters pounded out five runs against Orix lefty Sachiya Yamasaki (0-3), capped by Haruki Nishikawa’s second homer, a two-run shot.

Naoyuki Uwasawa (2-2) allowed two runs over seven innings.

Masataka Yoshida belted his fifth homer for the Buffaloes to lead off the fifth and came within a hair of making it a 5-4 game in the sixth. With two on and two outs, Yoshida drove one to deep to left field that Nishikawa raced back and made a leaping grab on.

The win was the Fighters’ first of the season at Sapporo Dome.

Marines 11, Hawks 9

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, four walks derailed Carter Stewart Jr.’s second outing for the SoftBank Hawks, as he allowed two of the Lotte Marines last six runs when he retired just two of the seven batters he faced in the fifth inning.

Hawks starter Rei Takahashi allowed five runs over 3-1/3 innings, but the Hawks retook the lead in the top of the fifth and sent Stewart out to pitch with a 6-5 lead. He allowed a leadoff double and left after issuing back-to-back bases-loaded two-out walks. SoftBank re-tied it in the top of the sixth, only for Katsuya Kakunaka to put the hosts ahead for good in the home half with an RBI single.

Frank Herrman put a stop to the Hawks’ comeback in the seventh, and Leonys Martin, who singled and scored in Lotte’s three-run third, helped put the game away in the home half with his eighth home run, a two-run shot.

Yurisbel Gracial had four hits and a walk, scored a run and drove one in for SoftBank, while Marines rookie Akito Takabe hit a two-run homer in the fourth to give the Marines a 5-4 lead and pushed across the tying run in the fifth.

Marines starter Manabu Mima got shelled for six runs over 4-1/3 innings. Closer Naoya Masuda entered with the tying runners on with no outs in the ninth and worked around a walk to earn his fourth save.

Carp 6, Giants 3

At Tokyo Dome, Seiya Suzuki’s fifth homer and his second in two nights put Hiroshima in front for good against Yomiuri’s Shosei Togo (2-2), who allowed four runs in four-plus innings.

Rookie Carp lefty Koya Takahashi (1-0) gave up three runs, two earned in 4-1/3, and matched Togo’s RBI from a second-inning squeeze by singling in a run with two outs in the fourth.

Hiroshima’s bullpen, which has made great strides this year with the inclusion of two rookies, middle man Haruki Omichi and closer Ryoji Kuribayashi, looked fragile on Saturday, allowing four walks and two hits over the last 3-2/3 innings but stranded six runners. Kuribayashi worked around two ninth-inning walks to record his seventh save.

Giants-Carp highlights

Swallows 4, Dragons 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Jose Osuna followed his two-hit Japan debut on Friday with two more on Saturday, including a two-out line single into the gap in right off Chunichi closer Raidel Martinez (0-1) to clinch a walk-off win.

Tetsuto Yamada put Yakult in front with his seventh home run and third in two nights, a two-run, third-inning shot into the first row in left field off Yuya Yanagi, who worked six innings. Yakult’s Hirotoshi Takanashi surrendered Takuya Kinoshita’s second home run that made it 2-1 in the fifth, and left with the game tied in the sixth with two on and none out.

Hiroki Kondo, signed after being released last winter by the Rakuten Eagles, prevented either runner from scoring. Noboru Shimizu worked a 1-2-3 seventh before Yota Kyoda hammered Scott McGough’s fifth pitch in the eighth for his first homer of the season. The right-hander, however, retired the three toughest outs in Chunichi’s lineup.

Rookie lefty Koshiro Sakamoto (1-0) worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the Swallows and earned his first pro win. Yamada and Munetaka Murakami set the table in the ninth with no-out walks, before Osuna ended it.

Tigers 13, BayStars 1

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin rookie lefty Masashi Ito (2-0) allowed a run on a walk and five hits over the distance, preventing the DeNA BayStars from posting their second winning streak of the season and contributed with one of the Tigers’ seven first-inning hits off Taiga Kamichatani (0-3).

Koji Chikamoto doubled to open Hanshin’s first inning and scored from third when Jefry Marte chopped one threw the drawn-in infield for al one-out single. Three straight hits followed with rookie Teruaki Sato singling in two. After a fielder’s choice, Seiya Kinami cleared the bags with a three-run double.

Sato singled in two more runs in the second, while Jerry Sands, who singled in the first and second, had an RBI double in Hanshin’s three-run fourth. Right-hander Kevin Shackelford, who joined DeNA on a non-roster developmental contract in December and was added to the 70-man roster on Friday, was called up Saturday and struck out one batter in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Chihiro Kaneko (0-1, 2.38) vs Daichi Takeyasu (1-0, 3.00)

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

Takahisa Hayakawa (2-2, 2.10) vs Katsunori Hirai (3-0, 1.82)

Marines vs Hawks: Zozo Marine Stadium 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Shota Suzuki (0-1, 2.35) vs Yuki Matsumoto (1-0, 1.80)

Central League

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

Nobutaka Imamura (2-0, 0.92) vs Yusuke Nomura (0-2, 4.73)

Swallows vs Dragons: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Yasuhiro Ogawa (1-1, 4.35) vs Shinnosuke Ogasawara (1-1, 1.42)

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

Joe Gunkel (4-0, 1.09) vs Kosuke Sakaguchi (1-1, 1.80)

Active roster moves 4/24/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/4

Central League

Activated

GiantsP35Toshiki Sakurai
TigersP43Koki Moriya
TigersOF97Dan Onodera
BayStarsP49Kevin Shackelford
BayStarsIF60Naoto Chino
SwallowsP35Koki Sugiyama

Dectivated

GiantsP15Angel Sanchez
TigersP19Shintaro Fujinami
TigersIF26Fumiya Hojo
BayStarsIF31Tatsuhiro Shibata
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP45Keisuke Honda
EaglesC44Yuichi Adachi

Dectivated

EaglesOF12Rusney Castillo