Tag Archives: Masato Morishita

NPB 2020 Sept. 19

NPB expands crowds

In a season that started behind closed doors on June 19, and welcomed in up to 5,000 per game starting from July 10, Saturday saw teams bring in somewhat larger crowds after a month and a half with no reported infections among spectators.

In the four day games played, only one was held out doors, where Yokohama Stadium welcomed 13,106 allowing fans to sit in the new left-field wing seats for the first time.

The other day games all saw smaller crowds: Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome had 11,937, Nagoya Dome 9,732 and Sapporo Dome 8,740.

“We were told it was only 13,000 people but it felt like 40,000 the way you guys cheered for the teams. Thank you so much,” BayStars manager Alex Ramirez said in his customary on-field interview after home games.

Hawks look to expand fans overseas

Starting Saturday, the SoftBank Hawks’ YouTube channel will be posting videos accessible in multiple languages in order to build their overseas fan base. Whether or not one is a fan of the Hawks, it’s kind of fun.

BayStars hand Giants 3rd straight loss

Neftali Soto hit his 100th home run in Japan, one of four hit by the DeNA BayStars in their 7-1 win over the Yomiuri Giants at Yokohama Stadium.

Lefty Haruhiro Hamaguchi (5-4) brought an unusually crisp fastball and abstained from his bread-and-butter changeup for much of the game as he allowed a run on two walks and two hits over 5-2/3 innings.

A run in the sixth snapped a 2x-inning scoreless streak for the Giants, who avoided a shutout but not a third straight loss.

Takayuki Kajitani reached on a first-inning error and scored on a Keita Sano single and then drove in three runs with his 13th and 14th home run. Soto, who is trailing in the race to win a third-straight home run title, hit his 16th.

Giants starter Nobutaka Imamura (3-1) lost the southpaw struggle, allowing three runs, two earned, over five innings.

In the end decided on two pitches in the sixth and six in the seventh. With DeNA leading 3-1 in the sixth, Giants right-hander Yohei Kagiya loaded the bases with one out. Tatsuhiro fouled out on one pitch, and Yasutaka Tobashira popped up lefty Ryusei Oe’s first pitch.

In the top of the seventh, the Giants loaded the bases on one out against Yuki Kuniyoshi. Lefty Edwin Escobar entered to face Gerardo Parra, who rolled the sixth pitch back to the pitcher and a 1-2-3 double play.

Carp squeak past Swallows

Shota Dobayashi hit an eighth-inning game-tying home run and scored the go-ahead run in the 10th-inning when rookie Minoru Omori bounced a two-out two-strike pitch past the reach of second baseman Tetsuto Yamada that lifted the Hiroshima Carp to a 3-2 win over the Yakult Swallows at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

The game was a duel between rookies, Carp right-hander Masato Morishita, a highly-sought after amateur who has been extremely solid, and Yakult’s second-pick last autumn, right-hander Daiki Yoshida, whose stuff and command has been a little less dominant.

Tomotaka Sakaguchi brought the Yakult Swallows from a run down with a second-inning home run.

With one out and a runner on first, Sakaguchi went after a low first-pitch fastball like he knew it was coming and pulled it into the right-field stands for his ninth home run. Prior to this season, Sakaguchi’s high was five home runs, in 2009 and 2010 with the Orix Buffaloes.

He then did what low-power hitters are supposed to say after they hit a home run, that they were trying to play small ball and trying hard not to be Mr. Big Shot home run hitter by using the word “tsunagu” – つなぐ.

“My focus was on batting aggressively from the first pitch so I could set the table for the batters behind me,” said Sakaguchi, who was followed by the seventh, eighth and ninth spots in a lineup that is fifth in a six-team league in runs scored and 10th worst in Japan.

Abe homer beats Tigers

Toshiki Abe hit a three-run home run and Koji Fukutani (4-2) worked 6-2/3 scoreless innings in a 4-1 win over the Hanshin Tigers at Nagoya Dome.

Tigers right-hander Takumi Akiyama (5-2) allowed five hits and committed two errors that made all four Dragons runs unearned.

Fledgling Eagle holds off Hawks

Ryota Takinaka, the Rakuten Eagles’ sixth pick in last year’s draft, held the SoftBank Hawks to a run over 5-1/3 innings in his pro debut and Hideto Asamura singled in the tie-breaking run in the seventh in a 3-1 win over the three-time defending Japan Series champs at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome.

Takinaka a 25-year-old right-hander, scattered five hits and one walk while striking out one.

Former Padre Kazuhisa Makita worked 1-1/3 scoreless innings to protect a one-run lead, and Alan Busenitz worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 12th save for the Eagles.

Buffaloes beat misbehaving Lions

Sachiya Yamasaki (3-4) allowed a run over seven innings and Aderlin Rodriguez doubled in two runs to break a 1-1 sixth-inning tie in the Orix Buffaloes’ 6-3 win over the Seibu Lions.

The Daily Sports blamed the Lions loss on their mistakes, and they certainly didn’t help, but five walks by lefty Sean Nolin (1-2) didn’t help either.

Nolin left in the sixth with one out and the bags juiced. Rookie Tetsu Miyagawa hung a 1-2 slider that Rodriguez lined into the left-field corner. A wild pitch made it 4-1.

The Lions had two on with no outs in the seventh but shat themselves. Rookie catcher Sena Tsuge pulled back a first-pitch bunt attempt and the lead runner failed to make it back for the first out. A sharp grounder to third, which was not a mistake — except in the sense that people who write those dumb articles have to include them — was turned for a double play.

Roller coaster Arihara spills Marines

The roller coaster season of Nippon Ham Fighters ace Kohei Arihara (5-7) continued with eight scoreless innings in a 3-1 win over the Lotte Marines at Sapporo Dome.

Marines starter Tsuyoshi Ishizaki (0-1) allowed a run over three innings to take the loss without allowing a hit. He did, however, walk five and strike out five.

Arihara started the season 0-3, allowing 12 runs over 22 innings. He had another three-game stretch where he went 0-2 and allowed 16 runs 19-1/3 innings, and was coming off a start against the Rakuten Eagles on Sept. 13 when he gave up nine runs in 2-1/3. He improved to 3-0 against Lotte, however.

Active roster moves 9/19/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/29

Central League

Activated

TigersC39Kenya Nagasaka

Dectivated

TigersP77Onelki Garcia
TigersOF68Shunsuke Fujikawa

Pacific League

Activated

EaglesP57Ryota Takinaka
MarinesP30Tsuyoshi Ishizaki
BuffaloesP11Sachiya Yamasaki

Dectivated

EaglesP56Sora Suzuki
BuffaloesP49Keisuke Sawada

Starting pitchers for Sept. 20, 2020

Pacific League

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

Chihiro Kaneko (1-3, 6.82) vs Manabu Mima (7-2, 4.62)

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

Andrew Albers (3-6, 4.07) vs Wataru Matsumoto (3-3, 3.82)

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

Shuta Ishikawa (6-2, 2.47) vs Takayuki Kishi (1-0, 9.19)

Central League

Swallows vs Carp: Jingu Stadium 6:30 pm, 5:30 am EDT

Yasuhiro Ogawa (8-3, 3.15) vs Yuta Nakamura (-)

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

Shinichi Onuki (6-3, 2.26) vs Seishu Hatake (0-3, 5.95)

Dragons vs Tigers: Nagoya Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Takahiro Matsuba (2-4, 3.30) vs Kenichi Nakata (0-1, 6.23)

NPB 2020 SEPT. 10

Enter the Sands man

Jerry Sands’ 17th home run of the season overturned a one-run seventh-inning deficit and Robert Suarez recorded a four-out save as the Hanshin Tigers beat the DeNA BayStars 8-7 at Yokohama Stadium on Thursday.

Sands, who lead South Korea’s KBO in RBIs last season, had three for the game, with one out and a man on in the seventh, he drove the first pitch he saw from big right-hander Yuki Kuniyoshi (3-3) for his third home run in six games.

The Tigers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third against Michael Peoples, who surrendered a leadoff single to Tigers starting pitcher Yukiya Saito. Tigers captain Kento Itohara’s infield single brought one run in, and Sands’ sac fly made it 2-0.

The BayStars tied it in the home half when they loaded the bases with no outs following a leadoff single by the No. 9 hitter, catcher Yasutaka Tobashira. Saito struck out Neftali Soto, the two-time defending Central League home run king, with no outs and the bags juiced, but a flare single and a sac fly tied it.

Saito was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the third, and Naomasa Yokawa delivered a three-run homer, only for the hosts to get two back on solo homers in the home half. Tobashira, who homered in the fourth, singled with a man on in the sixth to set the table for a three-run outburst against Joe Gunkel (1-2).

Soto’s two-run single put the BayStars up for the first time, but Gunkel earned the win after Sands turned things around in the seventh.

With one on and two out in the eighth, Suarez was called in to face Soto, and retired all four batters he faced to earn his 14th save.

Morishita earns 6th win

Rookie right-hander Masato Morishita (6-2) allowed a run over seven innings and Ryosuke Kikuchi broke up a tie game with an RBI double in the Hiroshima Carp’s 2-1 win over the Yakult Swallows at Mazda Stadium.

Morishita allowed five hits and a walk while walking one and striking out seven. The Swallows’ run came on Tomotaka Sakaguchi’s game-tying leadoff homer in the sixth.

“He has a good variety of pitchers, allowing him to navigate through the opposing batting order,” Swallows manager Shingo Takatsu said. “It’s great for a first-year pitcher to see so many batters, because I got the sense he was reading swings as he pitched.”

Seiya Suzuki doubled and scored on a Hisayoshi Chono single against Swallows lefty Keiji Takahashi in the fourth. Kikuchi broke the tie against Scott McGough (3-1) after Minoru Omori opened the inning with a leadoff pinch-hit double.

Geronimo Franzua worked the ninth to record his eighth save.

Dragons tie Giants, put Hara on hold

Naoki Yoshikawa tripled in two runs to eighth-inning runs for the Yomiuri Giants, and reliever Kota Nakagawa surrendered just one run after the Chunichi Dragons loaded the bases with one out in the eighth in their 2-2 10-inning tie at Nagoya Dome.

The tie prevented Giants manager Tatsunori Hara from earning his 1,067th career win that would move him out of a tie for the most in franchise history with Tetsuharu Kawakami, who managed the Giants to nine-straight Japan Series titles from 1965 to 1973.

Hara had praise for the left-hander who issued two one-out walks to load the bases, but allowed only one run to score on a ground out.

“It was amazing he kept them from doing more, considering he walked two and must have been questioning his command. Holding them to one run was really something,” Hara said.

First-year Giants import Angel Sanchez allowed a run over seven innings. Rubby De La Rosa worked the ninth, while Yuhei Takanashi shut the Dragons down in the 10th, when the game was called a tie.

NOTE: The story originally said Hara was second in managing wins with the Giants. Former Giants manager Shigeru Mizuhara had nearly 500 more wins in his career, but only 881 of those came with the Giants.

Yanagita pours it on Eagles

Yuki Yanagita brought the SoftBank Hawks from behind with a three-run third-inning home run, and added another for good measure in a 4-2 win over the Rakuten Eagles that was twice delayed by rain at Sendai’s Raktuen Seimei Park Miyagi.

Trailing 2-0 to lefty Yuki Matsui in the third inning, a walk by Keizo Kawashima and an Akira Nakamura single brought Yanagita to the plate with one out and runners on the corners. Matsui missed in the heart of the zone with a decent 1-0 fastball and Yangita drove it out to left for an opposite field home run, his 21st of the season.

The game, which started 37 minutes late, was suspended again for 55 minutes with one out and two on in the bottom of the seventh.

Rookie Masami Iwami, who had opened the scoring with his first career home run faced lefty Livan Moinelo and grounded into a double play. The 26-year-old Iwami, the Eagles’ second pick in the 2017 draft, took SoftBank starter Nao Higashihama deep to lead off the second.

With two outs in the inning, rookie shortstop Hiroto Kobukata doubled and scored on a Daichi Suzuki single. Higashihama, who allowed four runners to reach in the first but no runs, left after five, having allowed six hits and four walks.

Former San Diego Padres right-hander Kazuhisa Makita took the mound for the Eagles in the eighth, and with two outs, surrendered Yanagita’s second home run.

Jones hits’ Japan’s magic milestone

Although he’s only played a few months here, the Orix Buffaloes happily celebrated Adam Jones’ reaching Japan’s iconic 2,000-hit milestone in their 12-4 win over the Seibu Lions at MetLife Dome outside Tokyo.

Jones entered the game with 1,939 career major league hits and 59 in the Pacific League for the Buffaloes. His second hit of the game, an RBI double was his 2,000th, which is in Japan — with it’s shorter seasons — what 3,000 is in the majors.

Only one imported player has ever had 2,000 hits in Japan, DeNA BayStars manager Alex Ramirez. Second on that list is Tuffy Rhodes with 1,792.

Two nights after they were one-hit, the Buffaloes cranked out 16 hits in the one-sided win. Corey Spangenberg hit his 10th home run for the Lions. The first-year import also hit his Japan-best 21st double. Spangenberg also leads both leagues with six triples.

Nakata hits 250th HR in Fighters’ win

Sho Nakata became the 64th player to reach 250 home runs in Japan when he capped a three-run first inning with his 24th of the season in the Nippon Ham Fighters’ 5-3 win over the Lotte Marines at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium.

Marines right-hander Daiki Iwashita (4-5) allowed four runs over six innings to take the loss. He gave up five hits and a walk while striking out eight.

Former Cleveland Indians farmhand Toru Murata (1-1) struck out two over two perfect innings of relief to earn his first win in two years. Nick Martinez struck out three and walked two in a scoreless ninth to earn his first save in Japan. His only other save came with the Single-A Hickory Crawdads in 2012.

Active roster moves 9/10/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/20

Central League

Activated

TigersP48Yukiya Saito
CarpOF37Takayoshi Noma
SwallowsC32Naoki Matsumoto

Dectivated

TigersIF00Hiroki Uemoto
CarpIF45Tatsuki Kuwahara
SwallowsP68Hirofumi Yamanaka
SwallowsC52Yuhei Nakamura

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP16Nao Higashihama
HawksP49Yuto Furuya
MarinesC53Naoya Emura
BuffaloesP21Daichi Takeyasu

Dectivated

HawksP21Tsuyoshi Wada
HawksP48Yuta Watanabe
MarinesC22Tatsuhiro Tamura

Starting pitchers for Sept. 11, 2020

Pacific League

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

Ryota Ishibashi (1-3, 7.71) vs Kosei Yoshida (-)

Marines vs Buffaloes: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Toshiya Nakamura (1-2, 4.50) vs Taisuke Yamaoka (0-2, 4.15)

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

Matt Moore (1-1, 2.61) vs Zach Neal (3-4, 4.76)

Central League

Giants vs Swallows: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shosei Togo (7-3, 2.50) vs Albert Suarez (2-0, 0.53)

BayStars vs Dragons: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shoichi Ino (5-3, 3.08) vs Yuya Yanagi (2-4, 3.30)

Tigers vs Carp: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuki Nishi (5-3, 2.57) vs Hiroki Tokoda (1-4, 6.04)

NPB 2020 8-21 Games and news

Jones drives in 3 to give new skipper 1st win

Adam Jones results have mirrored those of his Orix Buffaloes this season. But on Friday, their first day after manager Norifumi Nishimura stepped down and was replaced by farm skipper Satoshi Nakajima, things clicked for Jones and his teammates in a 3-1 win over the Seibu Lions at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.

Jones tied it 1-1 in the seventh inning off Zach Neal (2-3) with his sixth home run of the season. Neal left with two on and one out in the eighth. Rookie Tetsu Miyagawa walked the bases loaded on four pitches to bring up Jones.

“I have not been swinging the bat too well, but that’s the game of baseball. You have to continue to play the game hard, and be prepared,” he told the fans in the on-field postgame interview. “Underneath the stands in the tunnels, I’ve been getting my work in and trying to be as professional as possible. I’m glad the hard work paid off tonight.”

Buffaloes lefty Sachiya Yamasaki allowed a run on two hits, including Hotaka Yamakawa’s 16th home run in the fourth, and one walk while striking out seven over seven innings.

Neal allowed 10 hits and a walk while striking out one. With the lead in the bag, Orix’s back-of-the bullpen one-two punch of first-year import Tyler Higgins and eight-year Japan veteran Brandon Dickson each worked a 1-2-3 inning. Higgins struck out the tail-end of the Lions order. Dickson got help on a good catch from left fielder Yuya Oda for the second out before recording his seventh save.

Marines march past Hawks into 1st place

Ayumu Ishikawa (4-2) allowed three runs over seven innings, and the SoftBank Hawks pitchers served up a seven-walk, three hit-batsmen, 14-hit parade in the Lotte Marines’ 7-3 win at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium that moved them past the Hawks into first place.

The Marines won 10 of the 12 games the teams played there last year, and now are 3-0 with one tie in this year’s four games on the shores of Tokyo Bay.

Alfredo Despaigne, playing in his first game since returning from Cuba in July, went 0-for-3 with one walk. He was activated Friday, taking the place of Wladimir Balentien, who was deactivated.

Norimoto finds stuff as Eagles’ beat Fighters

Rakuten Eagles ace Takahiro Norimoto (4-3) had better consistent pitches than he has for much of the year as he carried a shutout bid into the ninth inning in a 4-1 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters at Sapporo Dome.

The right-hander’s fastball and splitter were both effective as he struck out nine in eight-plus innings, while allowing no walks and six hits, including three no-out singles in the ninth as he ended a six-start winless streak.

Alan Busenitz came on and nailed down his sixth save on seven pitches.

Hiroaki Shimauchi, whose three-run homer tied Thursday’s game in the ninth inning when the Eagles were down to their last strike, doubled in Hideto Asamura to break a scoreless tie in the sixth. Asamura iced the game in the ninth with a two-run home run.

Carp rookie Morishita slays Giants

Rookie right-hander Masato Morishita (5-2) allowed a run over eight innings for the Hiroshima Carp in their 7-5 win at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium that snapped the Yomiuri Giants’ three-game all-shutout win streak.

Morishita allowed five hits and a walk while striking out five after the Carp broke the game open in the bottom of the first with a five-run inning against lefty Kazuto Taguchi (2-3).

Bour thunders as Fujinami, Tigers end droughts

Justin Bour hit two home runs, scored three runs and drove in three, while Shintaro Fujinami (1-4) won for the first time since September 2018 as the Hanshin Tigers beat the Yakult Swallows 7-4 at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

Fujinami’s one-out RBI infield single in the first opened the flood gates on a four-run inning that snapped a streak of 37-consecutive scoreless innings for the Tigers. To be nit-picky it was a single because third baseman Munetaka Murakami couldn’t get it out of his glove but wasn’t charged with an error.

At that point it was like the fates that had been spurning the Tigers for days suddenly decided their practical joke had run its course. Koji Chikamoto, who’d doubled in the first when he missed a home run by a few feet, got another double on a hard chopper to first that took a fluke bounce and drove in two.

Fujinami pitched out of a two-out bases-loaded jam in the second inning after the Swallows scored two unearned runs and threatened to turn the game around. But Bour made it a 6-2 game in the third with his eighth home run in Japan.

Joe Gunkel and Robert Suarez threw scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to close it down with Suarez recording his eighth save.

Swallows rookie Daiki Yoshida (1-3) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks over four innings. He struck out five.

Dragons burn BayStars bullpen

Takahiro Matsuba allowed a run over seven innings, and the Chunichi Dragons broke up a gie game in the eighth to beat the DeNA BayStars 3-1 at Nagoya Dome.

BayStars starter Shinichi Onuki allowed a run over six innings, and closer Yasuaki Yamasaki, currently the seventh-inning guy, extricated himself from a no-out bases-loaded pickle to keep it tied. The Dragons again loaded the bases with one out in the eighth against lefty Kenta Ishida (1-1). Ishida hadn’t allowed an earned run since his first game of the season on June 20, but Issei Endo’s sac fly scored Toshiki Abe, and Yohei Oshima plated Yota Kyoda with his second RBI single of the game.

Onuki made a spectacular escape in the third. After Oshima’s one-out single opened the scoring, the Dragons loaded the bases with two outs. Shuhei Takahashi hit a bullet back through the box that Onuki somehow knocked down and picked up, and still managed to nail the runner at first.

Dragons lefty Hiroto Fuku (4-2) earned the win in relief after pitching the eighth, while Cuban right-hander Raidel Martinez notched his eighth save.

Active roster moves 8/21/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/31

Central League

Activated

GiantsOF44Israel Mota
BayStarsP13Hiromu Ise
TigersIF38Ryuhei Obata

Dectivated

TigersIF4Takahiro Kumagai

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP14Ren Kajiya
HawksOF54Alfredo Despaigne
BuffaloesIF9Koji Oshiro
BuffaloesOF99Yutaro Sugimoto

Dectivated

HawksP34Arata Shiino
HawksOF4Wladimir Balentien
BuffaloesP14Kazumasa Yoshida
BuffaloesIF64Shinya Hirosawa

Starting pitchers for Aug. 22, 2020

Pacific League

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

Kohei Arihara (2-5, 4.25) vs Takahiro Shiomi (3-3, 3.78)

Marines vs Hawks: Zozo Marine Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Kota Futaki (1-2, 6.86) vs Akira Niho (3-4, 5.17)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Chang Yi (0-1, 5.40) vs Tetsuya Utsumi (-)

Central League

Swallows vs Tigers: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Matt Koch (-) vs Yuki Nishi (3-3, 2.42)

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

Yariel Rodriguez (1-0, 2.03) vs Kousuke Sakaguchi (-)

Carp vs Giants: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Daichi Osera (4-2, 3.12) vs Seishu Hatake (0-2, 4.15)

NPB 2020 8-14 GAMES AND NEWS

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

Central League

Activated

TigersP67Suguru Iwazaki
CarpP98Emailin Montilla
DragonsP29Daisuke Yamai
DragonsP98Yusuke Kinoshita
DragonsOF42Zoilo Almonte

Dectivated

SwallowsIF60Ryusei Takeoka

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP40Ichiro Tamura
LionsC37Sena Tsuge
LionsOF7Yuji Kaneko

Dectivated

LionsP36Sho Ito
LionsP44Kaito Yoza
LionsOF72Seiji Kawagoe

Starting pitchers for Friday, Aug. 14, 2020

Pacific League

Lions vs Eagles: MetLife Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Wataru Matsumoto (1-3, 6.11) vs Takahiro Shiomi (3-3, 3.67)

Marines vs Fighters: Zozo Marine Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Kota Futaki (1-1, 7.71) vs Kohei Arihara (1-5, 4.82)

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

Akira Niho (3-3, 4.71) vs Kazumasa Yoshida (1-0, 4.19)

Central League

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

Kazuto Taguchi (2-1, 3.60) vs Yariel Rodriguez (0-0, 2.84)

BayStars vs Swallows: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shota Imanaga (5-2, 2.90) vs Yasuhiro Ogawa (4-2, 4.07)

Tigers vs Carp: Kyocera Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuki Nishi (2-3, 2.44) vs Daichi Osera (4-1, 2.66)

NPB 2020 8-7 games and news

Ch-ch-changes

The iconic David Bowie song should have been Kensuke Kondo’s walk-up music against Zach Neal. The Nippon Ham Fighters on-base machine blasted a low changeup for a solo homer and one high and away for a two-run double in a 3-0 win over the Seibu Lions at Sapporo Dome.

Kondo broke up the scoreless game in the fourth with his second home run of the season. With wo on and one out in the sixth, his double made it 3-0 against Neal (2-2), who worked six.

Right-hander Toshihiro Sugiura (4-1) walked four batters but struck out six and allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings. The moment of truth came in the seventh. After walking the bases loaded, he fell behind Ernesto Mejia before striking him out on a 3-2 splitter.

Side-arm closer Ryo Akiyoshi and left-hander Mizuki Hori nearly blew the game up in the ninth. Hori entered with two on and two outs in a one-run game. He walked two straight batters before getting Cory Spangenberg to strike out swinging at a 3-2 pitch to earn the save.

Romero powers Eagles past Hawks

Stefen Romero hit his 12th and 13th home runs of the season for the Rakuten Eagles and drove in five runs in a 7-4 come-from-behind win over the SoftBank Hawks at Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi.

Eagles ace Takahiro Norimoto was all about the fastball in the first inning, and Seiji Uebayashi and Yuki Yanagita treated them like the batting-practice variety with long solo homers to open the game for the visitors. Akira Nakamura made it 3-0 in the third with a double to the warning track that scored Yanagita from first. Norimoto, however, pitched out of tight spots in the fifth and sixth to keep his team in the game.

Romero homered in the sixth after a Daichi Suzuki leadoff single to make it a 3-2 game against the Hawks’ Opening Day starter, Nao Higashihama (2-1). The right-hander issued a pair of walks in the seventh before rookie Hiroto Kobukata put the Eagles in front with a triple and drove Higashihama from the mound. Shinya Kayama hit Suzuki and submarine right-hander Rei Takahashi served up Romero’s 13th homer.

Ishikawa scrapes by for 2nd win

Ayumu Ishikawa scattered 12 hits over seven innings to earn his second win as the Lotte Marines made the most of their early chances in a 6-3 win over the Orix Buffaloes at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.

Ishikawa (2-2) struck out two, walked none and struck out two while getting two double plays en route to allowing just one run. Buffaloes starter Tsubasa Sakakibara (1-2) gave up four runs over three innings on three walks and six hits.

Seiya Inoue homered to open the scoring for the Marines in the second, when Yudai Fujioka tripled with one out and scored on a Tatsuhiro Tamura single. Two more runs scored in the third after two were down starting with singles by Inoue and Tsuyoshi Sugano, a walk and a two-run Tamura single.

Marines closer Naoya Masuda entered in the ninth with no outs, the bases loaded and a 6-1 lead. He issued a walk and surrendered an RBI single before getting out of the inning. He became the 32nd pitcher to earn 100 saves in Japan.

“Not-very-good” Ono too good for Giants

Lefty Yudai Ono threw his second-straight 10-strikeout complete game victory, and drove in the winning run with his first hit of the season in a 7-1 Chunichi Dragons win over the Yomiuri Giants at Nagoya Dome.

Ono (2-3) had better than usual velocity on his fastball, which looked straight but gave the Giants fits in combination with his two-seamer and slider. He gave up five hits and walked one.

“I’m not a very good pitcher,” he told the fans at Nagoya Dome in the postgame hero interview. “I have to just stick with those things I can do and execute my pitches.”

With two outs and two on in the second, he singled up the middle to open the scoring and went to second on a throwing error.

“I was looking for a slider, but I recognized it was a fastball,” he said.

When asked if he was able to react to the fastball, Ono said, “No. I don’t really have that much ability. It just worked out well.”

Yota Kyoda tripled in two, and Yohei Oshima, who also doubled, walked and scored two runs, followed with another triple off lefty Kazuto Taguchi (2-1) to make it 4-0.

Yoshida shines as Swallows beat Kamichatani

Daiki Yoshida, the Yakult Swallows’ second pick in last Autumn’s draft, produced his third-straight solid start en route to an 8-2 win over the DeNA BayStars at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

Yoshida (1-1) allowed two runs over six innings, while the Swallows tagged Taiga Kamichatani (0-1) for four runs, three earned, over three innings. Kamichatani went 7-6 games as a rookie last year but was 3-6 against teams not named the Yakult Swallows.

Takeshi Miyamoto, the 25-year-old reserve infielder who is filling in while superstar second baseman Tetsuto Yamada drove in three runs for the Swallows, while Munetaka Murakami and Yasutaka Shiomi both scored twice.

Hatsuki makes most of pro debut in Carp win

Ryutaro Hatsuki went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs in his first top-flight game for the Hiroshima Carp, who beat the Hanshin Tigers 11-6 at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium.

Side-armer Koyo Aoyagi, one of the Tigers’ more reliable starters this summer, allowed six runs over three innings to fall to 4-2, while Carp rookie Masato Morishita (3-2) gave up four runs, three earned, over six innings to earn the win.

Active roster moves 8/7/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/17

Central League

Activated

GiantsP45Nobutaka Imamura
CarpIF69Ryutaro Hatsuki

Dectivated

GiantsP95Hayato Horioka
TigersP29Haruto Takahashi
CarpIF6Tomohiro Abe
SwallowsP47Keiji Takahashi

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP19Hiromasa Saito

Dectivated

LionsP29Ryuya Ogawa

Starting pitchers for Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020

Pacific League

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

Kohei Arihara (1-5, 4.18) vs Wataru Matsumoto (1-3, 6.53)

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

Takahiro Shiomi (2-3, 4.37) vs Akira Niho (3-2, 4.91)

Buffaloes vs Marines: Kyocera Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kohei “K” Suzuki (0-1, 9.82) vs Kota Futaki (0-1, 12.86)

Central League

Swallows vs BayStars: Jingu Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yasuhiro Ogawa (4-1, 3.71) vs Shota Imanaga (4-2, 2.86)

Dragons vs Giants: Nagoya Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Akiyoshi Katsuno (1-2, 4.05) vs Seishu Hatake (0-0, 2.08)

Carp vs Tigers: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Daichi Osera (3-1, 2.92) vs Yuki Nishi (2-3, 2.55)

NPB 2020 7-7 PITCHERS

Announced starting pitchers for NPB’s games of Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

Pacific League

Marines vs Lions: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuki Ariyoshi (0-0) vs Kona Takahashi (2-0)

Buffaloes vs Fighters vs : Kyocera Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

ANDREW ALBERS (0-1) vs Toshihiro Sugiura (1-0)

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

Kodai Senga (-) vs Hayato Yuge (2-0)

Central League

Dragons vs Swallows: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuya Yanagi (1-0) vs ALBERT SUAREZ (2-0)

Tigers vs Giants: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Koyo Aoyagi (1-1) vs Shosei Togo* (2-0)

Carp vs BayStars: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Masato Morishita* (1-0) vs Haruhiro Hamaguchi (1-0)