Tag Archives: Kazuma Okamoto

NPB wrap 9-24-21

The Hanshin Tigers on Friday survived with a tie awkward start from Yuki Nishi, who was called into a meeting with manager Akihiro Yano after a game in which both Nishi and catcher Ryutaro Umeno were yanked after the third inning.

The Tigers tied with the Giants, allowing Yakult to pull a half-game ahead of both clubs in the CL race as they ran their unbeaten streak to 10 games. Their seven straight winning decisions is the team’s longest win streak in three years.

In the PL, the Rakuten Eagles were the big winners. They beat second-place Orix to gain one game on the first-place Lotte Marines, and the Buffaloes, and the Hawks.

Friday’s games

Lions 5, Marines 4

At MetLife Dome, Shuta Tonosaki snapped a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning winning a single-handed battle with the Marines battery. He walked with two outs, stole second on a ball that got away from catcher Takuma Kato. The passed ball moved him to third, from where Tonosaki scored on a wile pitch from reliever Yasuhiro Tanaka (1-2).

Seibu starter Tatsuya Imai allowed three runs over three innings thanks to seven walks and four hits. Rookie Junichiro Kishi’s two-run home run, his ninth, off Kota Futaki made it 3-2 in the third before Lotte’s Hisanori Yasuda made it 4-2 in the fourth with his eighth home run off Ichiro Tamura (1-0), who threw two innings and earned his first pro win.

Seibu’s six-time PL home run champ Takeya Nakamura homered to open the fourth and Sosuke Genda singled in the tying run after an error and two singles loaded the bases against Futaki.

With the lead in hand, Yoshinobu Mizukami worked a 1-2-3 sixth. Demoted closer Tatsushi Masuda worked around a pair of two-out singles in a scoreless seventh, and Ryosuke Moriwake stranded two more in the eighth before Kaima Taira finished with his 17th save.

Eagles 4, Buffaloes 3

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Daichi Suzuki singled twice and scored twice on hits by Hiroaki Shimauchi, as the Eagles spotted Takahiro Norimoto (10-5, 3.33) a 4-1 lead against rookie Hiroya Miyagi (11-3, 2.44) after Eigoro Mogi’s fourth-inning sac fly broke a 1-1 tie.

Rookie Kotaro Kurebayashi had three hits for the Buffaloes. His eighth home run tied it 1-1 in the third. He singled with one out in the eighth and came home when Yutaro Sugimoto retook the PL home run lead with his 38th off Norimoto’s 127th and final pitch – into the top deck in dead center.

Sung Chia-hao got the final two outs with the potential tying run on third base in the ninth to earn his fourth save.

Fighters 4, Hawks 1

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Nippon Ham’s Naoyuki Uwasawa (10-6, 3.08) struck out 11 while walking two and allowing three hits. His shutout bid ended in the eighth when Takuya Kai halved the Fighters’ lead with his 10th home run.

SoftBank’s 1.93-meter rookie right-hander Kazuki Sugiyama (1-1, 2.51) allowed a run over five innings. He struck out six and walked four while allowing one hit, Ronny Rodriguez’s fourth home run.

Kensuke Kondo hit his eighth home run off Livan Moinelo in the eighth to make it 2-0, Yushi Shimizu hit a two-run homer, his third, off closer Yuito Mori in the ninth before Toshihiro Sugiura closed it out in the bottom of the ninth for his 22nd save.

Giants 6, Tigers 6

At Tokyo Dome, rookie shortstop Takumu Nakano saved the game by making a tricky play on a bases-loaded grounder to get the second out at home plate thanks to a good scoop by backup catcher Seiichiro Sakamoto, and then caught Sho Nakata’s little liner for the third out as Robert Suarez worked around a Hayato Sakamoto double a Kazuma Okamoto single to secure the tie for Hanshin.

Hanshin’s Yuki Nishi allowed five runs over three innings, blowing an early 3-0 lead. A Jefry Marte RBI single highlighted Hanshin’s two-run first against C. C. Mercedes, who escaped a bases-loaded third-inning jam with just one run scoring and was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the home half.

Nishi surrendered a leadoff pinch-hit single but got a do-over by starting a double play before the real trouble started. After a walk and a single, Okamoto moved ahead of Munetaka Murakami in the home run race with his 38th. Yoshiyuki Kamei doubled and Yoshihiro Maru hit his 17th home run. Even with two multi-homer home runs and a double play, the Giants still managed to strand two runners in the inning.

Sakamoto singled in a run in the Giants’ fourth, but Yomiuri failed to mount another scoring threat until the ninth. Marte’s two-run fifth-inning home run, his 19th, off Toshiki Sakurai made it a one-run game, but the Giants bullpen followed that by retiring 10 straight.

Thyago Vieira back on the first-team mound after 19 days on the farm due to fitness issues, walked the first batter he faced and surrendered Jerry Sands’ game-tying RBI double. Vieira blew the save but did not let Hanshin take the lead.

Giants-Tigers highlights

 Swallows 3, Dragons 0

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Hirotoshi Takanashi (3-1, 3.35) struck out seven while allowing five hits and getting some big plays from his defense, and the Swallows scored three second-inning runs off Yudai Ono (6-10, 2.97) on a Yasutaka Shiomi double, a Norichika Aoki RBI single and Munetaka Murakami’s career-high 37th home run.

Noboru Shimizu worked the eighth for the Swallows, who pulled a half-game ahead of Hanshin, while Scott McGough threw 10 of his 11 in the ninth as he locked down his 23rd save.

Dayan Viciedo set the team record for hits by an import player with the first of his two singles, surpassing the mark of 766 he shared with current batting coach Alonzo Powell.

Carp 9, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Kaito Kozono had five hits, including a two-run home run, his second, scored four and drove in three while Daichi Osera (7-5, 3.08) gave up two runs over 7-2/3 innings. The BayStars scored first, on Toshiro Miyazaki’s two-run solo homer, his 13th, in the second, but singles by Osera and Kozono and a Seiya Suzuki walk set up a three-run inning, capped Shogo Sakakura’s two-run double. Kozono’s fifth-inning homer stuck a fork in DeNA.

Ryosuke Miyaguni (1-1, 6.30) surrendered five runs over five innings.

Saturday’s starting pitchers

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

Katsunori Hirai (4-3, 4.15) vs Tokito Kawamura (2-0, 4.32)

Buffaloes vs Eagles: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (14-5, 1.46) vs Takayuki Kishi (7-8, 3.59)

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

Shuta Ishikawa (5-9, 3.37) vs Drew VerHagen (4-7, 4.50)

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

Tomoyuki Sugano (5-6, 3.52) vs Haruto Takahashi (1-1, 4.09)

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

Keiji Takahashi (3-1, 3.21) vs Yariel Rodriguez (0-3, 4.66)

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

Masaya Kyoyama (2-5, 4.59) vs Koya Takahashi (3-6, 5.53)

Active roster moves 9/24/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/4

Central League


TigersP16Yuki Nishi
BayStarsP34Shingo Hirata
SwallowsP14Hirotoshi Takanashi


TigersP48Yukiya Saitoh
BayStarsP14Kenta Ishida
SwallowsP68Kohei Miyadai

Pacific League


HawksP40Kazuki Sugiyama
MarinesP19Yuki Karakawa


MarinesP17Roki Sasaki
MarinesP34Seiya Dohi

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NPB wrap 9-15-21

The Marines’ march toward their first regular season championship since 1974 continued in Fukuoka, while Orix got whacked in Sendai to fall four games off the pace on Wednesday.

The Central League got a little tighter, as the Swallows scraped past the Tigers and the Giants came from behind late to beat DeNA thanks largely in part to Scott Heinemann, leaving both clubs 2-1/2 back.

Swallows 1, Tigers 0

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Munetaka Murakami singled in a first-inning run, Yakult’s Yasuhiro Ogawa (8-4, 3.96) scattered five walks and six hits over 7-2/3 innings, reliever Noboru Shimizu struck out Jerry Sands to retire the side in the eighth with the bases loaded, and closer Scott McGough, who surrendered a game-tying three-run home run the night before, worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save.

Hanshin rookie Masashi Ito (7-7, 2.98) allowed a run on five hits and a walk over six innings, but Sands went 0-for-2 with two outs and the bases loaded.

Giants 7, BayStars 6

At Tokyo Dome, new Giant Scotte Heinemann saved three runs with a big catch to end DeNA’s ninth inning, and then singled to lead off Yomiuri’s three-run ninth off DeNA closer Kazuki Mishima (1-5), who blew his second save in three games.

Hayato Sakamoto hit his 14th and 15th home runs to keep the Giants close and singled in tying run in the ninth. Kazuma Okamoto hit his 37th home run and capped the ninth-inning comeback with a sacrifice fly.

Giants starter Shosei Togo allowed two hits and issued three walks in a three-run first. Neftali Soto’s two-out walk pushed in one run, and rookie Shugo Maki’s two-run single capped the rally. Sakamoto’s 14th home run, off Shinichi Onuki made it a 3-2 game. Maki’s 18th made it 4-3 in the sixth before Sakamoto struck again in the home half. Tyler Austin’s 26th gave the BayStars a two-run lead in the eighth before Kazuma Okamoto’s Japan-leading 37th made it 5-4 in the bottom of the inning.

The BayStars scored on two singles and a fielder’s choice in the ninth off Rubby De La Rosa (1-5), and then loaded the bases. With two outs, Heinemann made an inning-ending catch against the right-field wall to rob Toshiro Miyazaki of a three-run double.

Heinemann led off the Giants’ ninth with a single against closer Kazuki Mishima, who issued a one-out walk to Zelous Wheeler before surrendering three straight singles and Okamoto’s sac fly.

Giants-BayStars highlights

Carp 5, Dragons 3

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Hiroshima rookie Yuya Shozui singled in one run and his three-run seventh-inning home run brought the Hiroshima Carp from two runs down, and rookie closer Ryoji Kuribayashi notched his 24th save.

Naomichi Donoue, who drove in five late runs for Chunichi on Tuesday, opened the scoring in the second with a two-run home run, his fifth.

Marines 5, Hawks 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Lotte leadoff man Takashi Ogino reached base three times and scored the game’s first two runs off Carter Stewart, Jr. Shogo Nakamura singled home Ogino in the first, and walked and scored along with Ogino in the Marines’ two-run third, Katsuya Kakunaka singling in one run and Adeiny Hechavarria doubling in the other.

Yuki Yanagita brought SoftBank back with a two-run third-inning home run, his 26th, off Manabu Mima, who surrendered two runs in the fourth, the first on Alfredo Despaigne’s third to lead off the inning. Kenta Imamiya chased Mima with a one-out RBI single that left two on, but rookie lefty Shota Suzuki steadied the ship. Suzuki retired four straight, the first three on strike outs but had to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the Hawks from blowing the game up.

Hechavarria doubled and scored the tying run on a Yudai Fujioka single, while Nakamura was hit by a pitch in the seventh and scored the go-ahead run on a Kakunaka double.

Frank Herrmann (1-1) worked a 1-2-3 sixth to earn the win, and three scoreless innings from Yuki Kuniyoshi, Chihaya Sasaki and Naoya Masuda, for his 33rd save, closed it out.

Eagles 7, Buffaloes 0

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Rakuten continued to recover from its weekend scarring at the hands of Lotte by piling misery on Orix. Ryota Takinaka (7-4, 4.05 worked seven innings a week after bowling six scoreless frames against Nippon Ham. While Soichiro Yamazaki (0-2, 5.30) got a reality check after his sublime dominant start against the Marines a week earlier, allowing five runs on two walks, a hit batsman and six hits over 4-2/3 innings.

Yamazaki’s night collapsed with his command after two were down with one on in the fifth. His fat 1-0 pitch to Tsuyoshi Yamasaki was drilled for an RBI triple, and he grazed the next batter’s elbow guard before Hideto Asamura got the end of the bat on a two-strike fastball away for an RBI single. Hiroaki Shimauchi doubled in two and Takero Okajima capped the rally with an RBI single.

Asamura euthanized the Buffaloes by homering for the second straight day, a two-run seventh-inning shot, his 13th.

Lions 3, Fighters 3

At MetLife Dome, Wang Po-jung hit his eighth homer in the first inning off Keisuke Honda with Haruki Nishikawa aboard. Tomoya Mori doubled and halved the Fighters’ lead when he scored in the first on a Takeya Nakamura single.

Wang singled home Nishikawa in the third only for Mori to draw his second walk of the game to open the fifth off Hiromi Ito. Takumi Kuriyama, who struck out to end the third with two on, delivered Mori with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The Lions tied it in the eighth on a Shuta Tonosaki double and a Kuriyama single.

At that point, the closers came in and preserved the tie. Kaima Taira pitched out of a two-out bases-loaded pickle in the top of the ninth, while Toshihiro Sugiura stranded two in the home half.

Starting pitchers

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

Takahiro Norimoto (9-5, 3.49) vs Daiki Tajima (5-7, 3.88)

Lions vs Fighters: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Wataru Matsumoto (7-7, 3.75) vs Naoyuki Uwasawa (8-6, 3.20)

Hawks vs Marines: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Nick Martinez (7-3, 1.91) vs Kota Futaki (5-5, 3.93)

Thursday’s starting pitchers

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

Takahiro Norimoto (9-5, 3.49) vs Daiki Tajima (5-7, 3.88)

Lions vs Fighters: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Wataru Matsumoto (7-7, 3.75) vs Naoyuki Uwasawa (8-6, 3.20)

Hawks vs Marines: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Nick Martinez (7-3, 1.91) vs Kota Futaki (5-5, 3.93)

Active roster moves 9/15/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/25

Central League


GiantsOF51Takumaru Yaoita
DragonsP47Shotaro Kasahara


GiantsP64Ryusei Ohe

Pacific League


HawksP35Livan Moinelo
LionsP45Keisuke Honda
LionsOF7Yuji Kaneko
BuffaloesP57Nobuyoshi Yamada


MarinesP48Toshiya Nakamura
MarinesP91Enny Romero
FightersP52Takahide Ikeda
BuffaloesP58Kazuyuki Kaneda