Marines’ Sasaki on track for 1st team
Rocket-armed teenager Roki Sasaki is currently on track to start sometime around Japan’s Golden Week holidays from the end of this month through the first week of May, Lotte Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi revealed according to the Nikkan Sports.
“If he stays on the right course, and does well, our program for him will have him with the first team by Golden Week,” Iguchi said of the 19-year-old.
Sasaki struck out three of the six batters he faced in his minor league debut on Friday. The club has been bringing him along slowly after a first season in which the team did not allow him to pitch in a game, citing the amount of time it took his body to recover from bullpens and simulated games.
Hawks ace ends season debut on stretcher
Hawks 7, Fighters 0
At Sapporo Dome, Kodai Senga (1-0) ended the SoftBank Hawks losing streak with 5-2/3 impressive innings before his final out ended his season debut. The right-hander gloved a liner bound to hit him in the face but fell over backward awkwardly and appeared to be in pain as he clutched his left ankle. Ryoya Kurihara capped a three-run first off journeyman Takahide Ikeda (0-2). Hawks rookie Yuki Tsumori took over for Senga and struck out all four batters he faced.
Eagles 13, Lions 2
At MetLife Dome, Rakuten Eagles right-hander Takayuki Kishi (2-0) allowed two runs over six innings against his old team, while Seibu Lions starter Wataru Matsumoto (1-1) issued four one-out walks in the first, allowed a tie-breaking solo homer in the third.
Trailing 2-1, the Lions pulled their starter after 90 pitches through four innings, and brought in former PL MVP Mitsuo Yoshikawa, purchased over the winter by Nippon Ham. Hijinks ensued with eight runs scoring in one-plus inning with the lefty on the mound. Four Lions pitchers combined to walk 13 batters.
Buffaloes 3, Marines 3
At Zozo Marine Stadium, Leonys Martin hit a three-run home run, his fourth, for the Lotte Marines off Orix lefty Daiki Tajima, who struck out seven over seven innings. Marines starter Kazuya Ojima gave up three runs, two earned over six innings.
Moya tags himself out
The most Buffalo play of the day was from Steven Moya, running on a one-out full count to Yuma Tongu, was tagged before he reached the base without realizing Tongu had walked. Marines second baseman Shogo Nakamura willingly tagged Moya out as he left the base en route to the visitors’ dugout.
Tigers 6, Giants 2, 7 innings, rain
At Koshien Stadium, after playing their weekend home series indoors at Osaka Dome, the Hanshin Tigers returned home to Koshien Stadium and the rain. Yuki Nishi (1-1) allowed two runs over the seven-inning distance. Jerry Sands singled to lead off the Tigers’ two-run second against Angel Sanchez (0-1) and doubled in their four-run third.
Kazuya Katsuki, the power-hitting minor leaguer acquired last summer for Hirokazu Sawamura, hit a two-run homer in the fifth for the virus-hit Giants. The Tigers’ Jefry Marte walked twice and was hit by a pitch.
The umpires called the game without first suspending play, which is not against the rules, as Pro Yakyu News’ Hiromoto Okubo asserted, but it is not common practice, causing Giants manager Tatsunori Hara to protest.
Carp 2, Swallows 0
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Masato Morishita (2-0), the Central League’s 2020 rookie of the year, was overpowering at times as he scattered five hits and two walks over the distance. Albert Suarez (0-1), deactivated last Wednesday in the Swallows’ coronavirus mass deactivation, returned and allowed a run over six innings.
Ryoma Nishikawa opened the scoring with a sixth-inning home run off a pretty good pitch from Suarez. Morishita ended a two-out, two-on jam in the bottom of the inning by throwing a fastball down the pipe past Munetaka Murakami that was worth the price of admission.
BayStars 7, Dragons 3
At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Kazuki Kamizato hit a grand slam off Sawamura Award-winner Yudai Ono (0-1), who allowed five runs over six innings. BayStars starter Shinichi Onuki (1-0) struck out 6, while allowing three runs over 5-2/3 innings. Rookie Shugo Maki hit his second homer for the BayStars, who won their second game and their second straight.
Fighters vs Hawks: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Lions vs Eagles: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Marines vs Buffaloes: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Swallows vs Carp: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT
Dragons vs BayStars: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Tigers vs Giants: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 4/6/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 4/16