On Saturday, the Yakult Swallows may be hoping the Yomiuri Giants switch to green tea, having had more than their fill of Gregory “El Coffee” Polanco this weekend, while Shogo Akiyama provided the big finish in Hiroshima, Brandon Laird turned things around for Lotte, Masataka Yoshida did the things he does, and Masahiro Tanaka took a painful loss.
The Swallows were also without cleanup hitter Munetaka Murakami after their third baseman, who never missed a beat when the team became a COVID cluster last month, was deactivated due to fatigue although a PCR test came back negative, and his condition will be monitores.
Hawks 9, Eagles 1: At Fukuoka Dome, Shota Takeda (1-0) worked six-plus impressive innings in his first start of the season to outpitch Masahiro Tanaka (5-7), who was doomed by a weird three-run fifth inning when the Hawks broke a 1-1 tie and took control of the game.
The Hawks opened the scoring on a two-out third-inning walk to Ukyo Shuto, a stolen base and an Akira Kawase double. The Eagles barely managed to tie it in the fourth, when Hiroto Kobukata barely beat out an infield single, stole second and scored on a line single from Hiroaki Shimauchi.
Tanaka was in control through four innings, but walked the leadoff batter in the fifth and grooved the next pitch down the pipe for a Nobuhiro Matsuda single. Tanaka went to field the ensuing sacrifice, but took his eye off the ball, allowing the infield single to load the bases.
Ryosuke Tatsumi caught a sinking liner in center but his throw home was high, when anything close to the base would have nailed Matsuda trying to score from third. Back-to-back RBI singles followed from Taisei Makihara and Yuki Yanagita, who’d been overmatched in his first two at-bats.Continue reading NPB news: Aug. 6, 2022