Tag Archives: Raul Alcantara

NPB wrap 6-30-21

Buffaloes un-cowed

A night after a good fightback to earn a tie in a game we would have expected the old Orix Buffaloes to boot, Daiki Tajima goes seven innings in a shutout win over the Lotte Marines that lifts the Buffaloes back into first place, thanks to the Rakuten Eagles failing to turn a strong outing from Masahiro Tanaka into a win.

Buffaloes 5, Marines 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Daiki Tajima (5-4) allowed two walks and three singles while striking out seven over seven innings, and catcher Kenya Wakatsuki hit a three-run home run, his first, off Shota Suzuki (1-4) as Orix beat Lotte.

Fighters 3, Eagles 0

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, a walk and two good swings gave Nippon Ham a 1-0 first-inning lead against Rakuten’s Masahiro Tanaka (3-5, 3.18), and Kensuke Kondo helped snuff out a seventh-inning rally with a diving catch in right for the second out with the potential tying run on second.

The Fighters didn’t make much good contact against Tanaka, who had one of his better starts. Chusei Mannami’s seventh-inning leadoff double was their best-struck ball off him, but he was gunned down trying to score from third on a one-out fly to medium-deep center.

Rookie right-hander Kazuaki Tateno (1-0) dodged four walks and three hits over five innings to earn his first career win, and Yuki James Nomura singled in two runs in the eighth against the Eagles’ pen.

Hawks 9, Lions 1

At Kitakyushu Municipal Stadium, SoftBank’s Nao Higashihama (2-0) scattered eight hits and a walk to allow just one run over seven innings, while his teammates took advantage of Kitakyushu’s cozy ballpark with three home runs, Nobuhiro Matsuda’s ninth, Ryoya Kurihara’s 10th and Takuya Kai’s eighth. 

Seibu’s Katsunori Hirai (3-3) allowed seven runs, three earned, over four innings.

Carp 1, Giants 0

At Tokyo Dome, Hiroshima’s Takayoshi Noma broke up Shun Yamaguchi‘s bid for s a second career no-hitter with a one-out solo home run in the eighth inning. It was Noma’s first of the year.

Yamaguchi (1-1) went eight, allowing one hit, one walk and hit batsman while striking out 10 for Yomiuri. The Giants tried to steal a run in the first with manager Tatsunori Hara’s beloved delayed two-out delayed double steal with runners on the corners only for it to kill the inning with an out at the plate despite a terrible throw to second.

Allen Kuri (6-5) allowed six hits and three walks over 7-2/3 innings, Kyle Bird escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth, and rookie Ryoji Kuribayashi recorded his 15th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Giants-Carp highlights

Tigers 2, Swallows 2

At Koshien Stadium, Jefry Marte earned a tie for the Hanshin Tigers, singling in a first-inning run and tying it in the eighth inning with his 13th home run, off reliever Noboru Shimizu.

Munetaka Murakami regained the Japan home run lead with his 24th, tying the game 1-1 in the fourth against Raul Alcantara, who went 6-1/3 innings. The Swallows, who got six innings from Hirotoshi Takanashi, tied it against Japan Olympic team member Suguru Iwazaki in the eighth on a Jose Osuna single, a sacrifice and a Domingo Santana double.

BayStars 9, Dragons 4

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Tyler Austin and Neftali Soto each drove in two runs, Soto with a first-inning home run, his 13th, off Koji Fukutani (4-7) who coughed up seven runs over two innings. The win was DeNA’s fifth straight as they moved within two games of fourth-place Chunichi. Dayan Viciedo hit his 11th homer for the Dragons.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Takayuki Kishi (3-5, 4.19) vs Hiromi Ito (5-4, 2.79)

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

Shota Takeda (4-3, 2.45) vs Kona Takahashi (6-3, 3.57)

Central League

Giants vs Carp: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Tomoyuki Sugano (2-4, 2.72) vs Koya Takahashi (2-3, 4.93)

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

Joe Gunkel (6-0, 2.10) vs Yasunobu Okugawa (3-2, 4.60)

Active roster moves 6/30/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/10

Central League


GiantsP54Daisuke Naoe
GiantsIF32Taishi Hirooka
SwallowsP14Hirotoshi Takanashi
SwallowsOF25Domingo Santana


GiantsP45Seishu Hatake
GiantsOF36Shingo Ishikawa
BayStarsC10Yasutaka Tobashira
SwallowsIF3Naomichi Nishiura

Pacific League


LionsP25Katsunori Hirai
LionsP40Ichiro Tamura
FightersP33Kazuaki Tateno


EaglesP41Yoshinao Kamata
BuffaloesP61Tsubasa Sakakibara

NPB wrap 5-16-21

Let there be Roki, and Leonys Martin, too

People came to see Roki Sasaki, OK, and Takaki Ishibashi (Taka Tanaka of the “Major League” movie franchise) throw the ceremonial first pitch, but mostly Sasaki, who a third of the way through his second pro season, made his first-team debut at the Lotte Marines’ home ground.

But if those two were the star attractions, Leonys Martin was the star, and would have been a hero (on the postgame hero interview podium if his ninth-inning drive had gone over the fence instead of being caught for an out on the warning track. As it was, Sasaki showed off a good fastball (topping out at 96 mph) and splitter, and Martin hit two homers, drove in three runs, doubled and was hit by a pitch and leads both leagues with 12 home runs.

Marines 6, Lions 6

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Sasaki allowed four runs, two earned, over five innings. He gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out five. He missed some pitches that were hit, but you have to give credit to the Lions hitters for adjusting and hitting some tough pitches as well.

Seibu starter Katsunori Hirai gave up a first-inning leadoff homer on his second pitch of the game to Takashi Ogino, and another on his third pitch to Martin, and allowed four runs in four innings. Ogino singled in a run in Lotte’s two-run second and singled ahead of Martin’s fifth-inning home run.

Frank Herrmann, Lotte’s third pitcher, recorded his 100th hold in Japan, but Yuki Karakawa issued two one-out walks in the eighth and a two-out two-run single to Cory Spangenberg.

Reed Garrett returned to his ninth-inning role by surviving Martin’s drive to the wall to nail down the 6-6 tie when pinch-runner Koshiro Wada was thrown out to end the game trying to steal second. The Lions stole five bases.

Fighters 2, Hawks 2

At Sapporo Dome, SoftBank’s Kenji Akashi singled in two seventh-inning runs off Nippon Ham starter Naoyuki Uwasawa, and both closers, Toshihiro Sugiura for the Fighters and Livan Moinelo for the Hawks, stranded three runners in a scoreless ninth.

Eagles 1, Buffaloes 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Rakuten’s top draft pick last autumn, lefty Takahisa Hayakawa (5-2) threw his first shutout and first Maddux, with Hiroaki Shimauchi ruining the win-loss record of Orix’s Sachiya Yamasaki (1-4) with a second-inning solo home run, his fifth of the year. Hayakawa allowed three hits and two walks while striking out eight.

Yamasaki walked one, hit one and gave up five hits in his 6-2/3-inning effort.

Tigers 6, Giants 5

At Tokyo Dome, Hanshin’s Raul Alcantara (1-0), who went 20-2 last year for KBO’s Doosan Bears, nearly let this victory in his Japan debut slip away in a three-run sixth after four straight singles to start the inning, but retired the last three batters he faced and three relievers shut the door to hold off Yomiuri.

Tigers leadoff hitter Koji Chikamoto doubled and singled twice, scored twice and drove in two runs, while Naomasa Yokawa hit a two-run homer for the visitors, while Robert Suarez recorded his Japan-best 12 saves. Kazuma Okamoto hit his ninth home run for the Giants, and Zelous Wheeler extended his hitting streak to 21 games.

Giants-Tigers highlights

Dragons 2, Swallows 2

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami hit his Central League-leading 11th home run, a two-run shot in the first inning but that was all the offense the visitors’ could muster against Yuya Yanagi, who pitched yet another marvelous game, allowing four hits and walking two over seven innings while his nine strikeouts raised his Japan-best total to 67.

Swallows rookie Yasunobu Okugawa also pitched well. The other big pitcher out of high school in 2019 along with Roki Sasaki, Okugawa allowed a run on seven hits over six innings while striking out seven and walking none. Dragons leadoff man Yohei Oshima had two hits and a sac fly, while, Yota Kyoda singled in the game-tying run in the ninth after Kosuke Fukudome opened the inning with a pinch-hit single off Yakult closer Taichi Ishiyama.

The game, which could also be confused by a defensive highlight reel, saw two big plays from the Swallows outfield . Rookie reserve Hidetaka Namiki prevented a loss by robbing Dragons catcher Takuya Kinoshita of an RBI eighth-inning double. In the ninth, center fielder Yasutaka Shiomi prevented the game-winning run from scoring with a game-ending throw to the plate.

Carp 3, BayStars 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, it was perhaps a good thing this game could only go nine innings, otherwise who knows how many base runners the DeNA BayStars would have squandered. As it was they entered the seventh trailing Hiroshima 2-0 having put 14 on through six innings, largely thanks to four double plays. But that changed in the seventh, when Neftali Soto homered after singles by Tyler Austin and Keita Sano.

Michael Peoples allowed two runs over five innings for the BayStars. Ryuma Nishikawa twice singled in runs for the Carp, including one in the eighth off former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki to tie it. Both closers, rookie Ryoji Kuribayashi of the Carp and Kazuki Mishima of the BayStars, stranded two runners in the ninth to end this game in a tie.

Active roster moves 5/16/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/26

Central League


TigersP44Raul Alcantara
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa



Pacific League


HawksP13Akira Niho
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki
FightersC10Yushi Shimizu
FightersC68Ryo Ishikawa
BuffaloesP11Sachiya Yamasaki
BuffaloesIF53Sho Gibo


FightersC30Shingo Usami
FightersOF66Chusei Mannami