Tag Archives: Yuki Matsui

NPB wrap 5-9-21

Okamoto goes boom

Giants 7, Swallows 5

At Tokyo Dome, Kazuma Okamoto, the Central League’s 2020 home run and RBI leader, made up for helping to kill a couple of early Yomiuri rallies by homering in the eighth to make it a one-run game and ending it with a three-run walk-off shot against Yakult closer Taichi Ishiyama (0-2).

New Swallows import Cy Sneed allowed three runs in four-plus innings in his Japan debut, while Giants lefty Nobutaka Imamura allowed a run in 5-2/3 innings.

Zelous Wheeler had two hits for the Giants, while Domingo Santana singled in a run in the eighth, when the Swallows scored four to take Sneed off the hook.

Giants-Swallows highlights

Tigers 3, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, 39-year-old former Japan international Yoshio Itoi got his second start of the season for Hanshin and did what he did in his first start on Friday, homer. His two-run shot capped a three-run Tigers fifth off Michael Peoples (1-1), who had retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced.

Rookie wunderkind Teruaki Sato opened the fifth with a walk, scored the tying run on a Jerry Sands double, and Itoi put the CL leaders in front. Joe Gunkel started for the Tigers and allowed a run in three innings, but after having runners on second and third with no outs in the BayStars’ scoreless third – following a leadoff double by Peoples,  the right-hander left the game.

Gunkel is set to be deactivated on Monday with what appears to be stiffness in his right shoulder.

Hanshin’s bullpen, allowed one run over the final five innings, a homer from leadoff man Masayuki Kuwahara, who doubled and scored the game’s opening run in the first, but that was it. Robert Suarez recorded his ninth save.

Neftali Soto doubled twice for DeNA but was stranded both times.

Dragons 2, Carp 0

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi’s Yuya Yanagi (3-1) allowed two hits and a walk – all with two outs in the third inning, but struck out 11. Dayan Viciedo broke up the scoreless game with his fifth home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, and Raidel Martinez pitched around a pair of one-out ninth-inning singles to record his fifth save.

Yanagi’s 1.72 ERA is .01 back of the league leader, Yuki Takahashi of the Giants, while the Dragons right-hander leads the CL in innings, 47, strikeouts, 58, and WHIP, 0.77.

Hawks 3, Lions 1

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Yuki Yanagita doubled and scored SoftBank’s first run in 21 innings to tie it in the sixth off Seibu’s Katsunori Hirai, and then singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh. SoftBank starter Yuki Matsumoto allowed the first two runners to reach in each of the first two innings but retired the next nine hitters and his bullpen colleagues maintained that pace with Livan Moinelo getting his third save.

Eagles 6, Fighters 3

At Sapporo Dome, Ryosuke Tatsumi hit a game-tying fifth-inning home run off former teammate Takahide Ikeda (2-4), and kick started Rakuten’s three-run sixth with a one-out infield single as Eagles’ rookie Takahisa Hayakawa (4-2) earned the win after allowing two runs over five innings.

Four walks lost it for Ikeda, traded to Nippon Ham in March, allowed three runs, two earned, in 4-2/3 innings. Fighters lefty Ryusei Kawano struck out Brandon Dixon to leave the bases loaded in the fifth, but first-year import Robbie Erlin let the game get away with three runs over two innings.

Taiwan’s Wang Po-jung doubled, singled and walked in the No. 3 spot for the Fighters, making the third straight game he’s looked like the guy they expected to see in 2019 after they signed him via the posting system.

Rakuten lefty Yuki Matsui worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his ninth save, making him the 16th player with 150 career saves.

Marines 7, Buffaloes 4

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Leonys Martin spearheaded the Lotte Marines counterattack after Kazuya Ojima (1-1) allowed three runs in the first. Ojima went five innings, and the Marines bullpen allowed a run over the final four, with closer Naoya Masuda notching his eighth save.

Orix starter Hirotoshi Masui (1-4) gave up five runs, four earned, in 3-2/3 innings. Back-to-back first-inning doubles by Takashi Ogino and Martin made it 3-1, and Brandon Laird’s two-out single plated Martin. Lotte tied it in the second on reserve catcher Tomoya Kakinuma’s first home run and scored with the help of an error in the third to take the lead.

Active roster moves 5/9/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/19

Central League

Activated

CarpC40Yoshitaka Isomura
SwallowsP28Daiki Yoshida
SwallowsP54Cy Sneed

Dectivated

DragonsP22Yudai Ono
CarpC22Shosei Nakamura

Pacific League

Activated

None

Dectivated

HawksIF27Yurisbel Gracial

NPB Wrap 5-5-21

Fit to be tied

Hawks 5, Eagles 5

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Rakuten closer Yuki Matsui blew a one-run save opportunity, but struck out Yuki Yanagita to end the game with the winning run on third, forcing the game to end in a tie and causing both teams to celebrate not losing at the same time, which is something I’d never seen before.

Softbank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada deserved to lose this one after allowing five runs over five innings, but Seiji Uebayashi homered and doubled to drive in the Hawks’ first three runs and singled in the tying run in the ninth on a 1-2, two-out pitch from Matsui.

Taichi Suzuki delivered the big blow for the Eagles with a two-out three-run second-inning double in support of Takahiro Norimoto, who allowed four runs over six innings.

Lions 6, Buffaloes 2

At MetLife Dome, Seibu lit up Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-3), who allowed five runs, four earned, in 6-1/3 innings on a career-worst 10 hits. Lions right-hander Tatsuya Imai (2-2), whose biggest issue is walks, issued four, but non until there were two outs in the sixth and he was leading 3-0.

Sosuke Genda powered the Lions offense with a single, double and triple, three runs and an RBI. Imai allowed two runs, but left with two on and two outs in the eighth. Without closer Tatsushi Masuda on the farm due to poor results and Reed Garrett sidelined by a drive off his knee on Tuesday, 2020 PL rookie of the year Kaima Taira struck out Steven Moya to end the eighth and retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his first save.

Swallows 2, Tigers 2

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Norichika Aoki ended what had been a futile 0-for-3 day at the plate by sliding under Hanshin first baseman Jefry Marte’s tag to drive in the tying run with an eighth-inning RBI infield single. After that, Swallows closer Taichi Ishiyama and Tigers closer Robert Suarez ensured the game ended in a tie, the first for the Central League-leading Tigers.

Marte drove in both Tigers’ runs, with a two-out, third-inning bases-loaded single off rookie Yasunobu Okugawa, and made a big blay in the field, throwing out the lead runner on a good bunt by the Swallows pitcher with runners on first and second and no outs in the fifth. The play prevented Kotaro Yamasaki’s two-outs single from scoring two and tying the game.

Tigers side-armer Koyo Aoyagi allowed a run over six innings. Yakult center fielder Yasutaka Shiomi was sidelined with an “injured tooth” from a medicine ball striking him in the face during pregame practice, Nikkan Sports reported.

Dragons 4, BayStars 0

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, DeNA Opening Day starter Haruhiro Hamaguchi (2-3) allowed three singles and a walk over six innings while striking out eight.

Keita Sano and rookie Shugo Maki reached to set the table in the seventh, and Masayuki Kuwahara delivered two-run pinch-hit single to chase Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-2). Koki Yamashita followed with another two-run pinch-hit single off Keisuke Tanimoto.

Edwin Escobar, Yasuaki Yamasaki and Kazuki Mishima followed Hamaguchi out of the DeNA bullpen for an inning each with Yamasaki providing all the drama and having to strike out Mike Gerber with the bases-loaded to preserve the shutout.

Giants 4, Carp 0

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Yomiuri’s Angel Sanchez (2-2) scattered six hits over seven innings, and four relievers completed the seven-hit, no-walk shutout. Rookie Hiroshima lefty Koya Takahashi (1-1) allowed a run over six innings on four hits and a walk, while striking out six in the tough loss.

A Hayato Sakamoto single and a Zelous Wheeler double to open the fourth set up the first run, with Sakamoto coming home on a Hiroyuki Nakajima sac fly. Pinch-hitter Yoshiyuki Kamei doubled in two runs in the ninth to ice it.

Lions’ Neal tunes up on farm

Active roster moves 5/5/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/15

Central League

Activated

GiantsP15Angel Sanchez
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa

Dectivated

CarpIF35Takumi Miyoshi

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP47Koki Matsuoka

Dectivated

LionsP64Towa Uema

NPB wrap 5-3-21

1-strike pitch to Yuma

Buffaloes 6, Lions 3

At MetLife Dome, Orix performed two different versions of the Elmore Leonard western “3:10 to Yuma.” Instead of an impoverished rancher getting a villain onto a train bound for Yuma Arizona, the NPB versions involved downtrodden Buffaloes getting the surviving dangerous Lions –on two fastballs: a 2-1 pitch to Yuma Tongu and a 1-1 heater to Yuma Mune.

Tongu’s fourth home run, a three-run sixth-inning homer, opened the scoring. Mune’s, a low liner to center against a drawn-in Lions outfield, iced the game in the eighth. Mune’s was his third of the season and his second in two games.

Keita Sano and Adam Jones co-starred in both versions, opening the sixth and eighth inning with singles off Tetsu Miyagawa (0-1) in the sixth and Ryosuke Moriwaki in the eighth, and then before the Lions knew it, or “あっという間” (attoiuma) as they say in Japanese, it was Yuma time.

The Lions got two back in the seventh against 19-year-old Buffaloes’ lefty Hiroya Miyagi, who had faced one batter over the minimum to that point. A leadoff walk and a single set up one-out Takumi Kuriyama and Cory Spangenberg RBI singles.

The Lions came within a hair of tying it when Wu Nien Ting lined a pitch down the left field line that was ruled to have gone foul by smidgen – or a 10th of a smidge. Wu struck out and Miyagi was charged with two runs over 6-2/3 innings on two walks, a hit batsman and four hits. The rookie struck out five.

By the way, I went to two games at Tigers Stadium in 1999, to see Masao Kida, who earned his only major league game the first night, the same game that Elmore Leonard kicked off by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

The Seibu Lions wasted five scoreless innings from Matt Dermody, whose biggest difficulty in his Japan debut was navigating umpire Shinichiro Hara’s strike zone. Dermody struck out three, walked three and allowed five hits.

Eagles 7, Hawks 4

Eagles 7, Hawks 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Hideto Asamura scored three runs and drove in two as the Rakuten Eagles overcame an early three-run deficit. Ryota Takinaka (2-2) struggled with his control in the first inning, when two of SoftBank’s three runs were unearned, but settled in to go five innings.

SoftBank starter Akira Niho (0-1) cruised through four innings but allowed an unearned run in the fourth and was lit up in the fifth. Asamura, who singled and scored in the fourth, tied it with a two-out, two-run double and scored on a Hiroaki Shimauchi single.

With two outs and first base open in the seventh, the Hawks elected to walk Asamura intentionally, but he scored on a two-run Shimauchi double.

Yuki Matsui earned his eighth save, but the Hawks made him work for it with some gritty at-bats in a 23-pitch inning.

BayStars 2, Dragons 1

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, DeNA starting pitcher Michael Peoples (1-0) couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune time for the Central League’s last-place BayStars. The second-year right-hander struck out six while allowing four hits and walking none over six scoreless innings to win a pitchers’ duel with another 2021 debutant, Chunichi’s Kodai Umetsu (0-1).

Umetsu allowed two runs, one earned, over five innings on two hits, two walks and a hit batsman. The BayStars took the lead thanks to a leadoff error that allowed Peoples to reach and score on a walk, a sacrifice and a groundout. Keita Sano made it 2-0 in the sixth, when he hammered a hanging slider from Keisuke Tanimoto for his third home run.

After a scoreless seventh by Edwin Escobar, right fielder Tyler Austin just barely misjudged a ball, turning a double into a leadoff triple, and allowing Akira Neo to score from third on a ground out against Yasuaki Yamasaki. But that was it for Chunichi’s offense as Kazuki Mishima struck out Mike Gerber and Dayan Viciedo en route to a 1-2-3 ninth and his fifth save.

Giants  3, Carp 2

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Zelous Wheeler hit the Yomiuri Giants’ third home run, a seventh-inning tie-breaking shot off Masato Morishita (3-3), and Yohei Kagiya  (1-0) retired all four batters he faced, including Kevin Cron after he inherited a two-out bases-loaded jam to earn the win.

Hayato Sakamoto fifth homer opened the scoring for the Giants, and Yoshihiro Maru’s second tied it in the sixth. Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki hit a two-run shot in the third. The Giants used four pitchers to get through the ninth. Thyago Vieira entered with one out and surrendered two hits. Yuhei Takanashi entered with two outs and the bases loaded and retired pinch-hitter Kosuke Tanaka to earn his first save.

I leave you with 8-time Golden Glove winner Ryosuke Kikuchi’s 5th inning robbery.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Towa Uema (1-1, 5.02) vs Daichi Takeyasu (1-0, 3.21)

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

Shunsuke Kasaya (1-2, 4.30) vs Takayuki Kishi (2-2, 3.34)

Central League

Swallows vs Tigers: Jingu Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kazuto Taguchi (1-2, 4.26) vs Yuki Nishi (3-2, 2.38)

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

Yudai Ono (1-2, 2.50) vs Shinichi Onuki (1-2, 5.27)

Carp vs Giants: Mazda Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Hiroki Tokoda (1-2, 4.56) vs Yuki Takahashi (5-0, 1.80)

Active roster moves 5/3/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/13

Central League

Activated

DragonsP18Kodai Umetsu
BayStarsP13Hiromu Ise
BayStarsP45Michael Peoples
CarpOF59Minoru Omori

Dectivated

BayStarsP12Kosuke Sakaguchi
CarpP19Yusuke Nomura
SwallowsP29Yasuhiro Ogawa

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP13Akira Niho
HawksOF51Seiji Uebayashi
LionsP28Ryosuke Moriwaki
LionsP98Matt Dermody
EaglesP57Ryota Takinaka
BuffaloesP13Hiroya Miyagi

Dectivated

HawksOF54Alfredo Despaigne
BuffaloesP11Sachiya Yamasaki

NPB wrap 5-2-21

More Fighters games postponed

NPB announced Sunday that in addition to that day’s canceled game at Sapporo Dome against the Seibu Lions, the virus-hit Nippon Ham Fighters, with 10 first-team infections, have ceased baseball activities until cleared fit by local health authorities.

Their Pacific League series against the Lotte Marines in Chiba from Monday to Wednesday have been postponed with further postponements likely.

Sato cleans up

Tigers 7, Carp 3

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin rookie Teruaki Sato batted fourth, which was salivation material to begin with before he hit a game-changing grand slam. His homer turned a mediocre start from Joe Gunkel (5-0) into a winning effort. Gunkel started the season with four wipe-out starts, but has been more ordinary since, allowing three runs over five innings on Saturday.

Hiroshima’s Yusuke Nomura (0-3) allowed five runs in four-plus innings, leaving after Sato took him deep in the fifth.

Hanshin leadoff man Koji Chikamoto and No. 3 hitter Jefry Marte each reached base five times. Chikamoto stole two bases and scored three runs, while Marte scored one and drove in one.

BayStars 10, Swallows 2

At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA’s Tyler Austin homered off the scoreboard, singled twice walked and scored three runs to help power the BayStars. The home run was his fourth and his third in four days. Neftali Soto doubled in a run in DeNA’s six-run seventh.

Southpaw Edwin Escobar (1-0) struck out two in a 1-2-3 sixth to earn the win and Kevin Shackelford worked a perfect eighth for the BayStars, while Hirotoshi Takanashi (2-1) allowed four runs, one earned, over five-plus innings and took the loss.

Eagles 6, Marines 5

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, the marquee pitching matchup between first-year left-handers was interrupted by rain and turned into a slug fest, that was decided when leadoff man Takashi Ogino slammed a fastball off closer Yuki Matsui (0-1) to break a ninth-inning tie.

Rakuten’s Ryosuke Tatsumi dealt the first big blow, capping a three-run fourth off Shota Suzuki with his sixth home run. Eagles starter Takahisa Hayakawa threw a high straight fastball to Brandon Laird, whose third homer of the year, a three-run shot in the sixth made it a 5-4 game. The Eagles tied it against Frank Herrmann in the seventh with the help of an error.

The game was notable for balls getting stuck in odd places. The Marines opened the scoring after a drive from Hisanori Yasuda got stuck between the padding atop the left field wall and the screen atop it. Another stuck ball, in Rakuten catcher Hikaru Ota’s mask in the ninth, allowed a runner on base to advance.

Buffaloes 5, Hawks 4

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix outslugged SoftBank thanks to two-run homers by Steven Moya, his third, and Yuma Mune, his second, and a solo shot by Torai Fushimi, his first. Sachiya Yamasaki (1-3) allowed two runs in six-plus innings.

Yurisbel Gracial hit his fifth homer of the year for the Hawks, a two-run shot in the eighth, that made it a one-run game.

Pacific League

Starting pitchers

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

Matt Dermody (-) vs Hiroya Miyagi (2-0, 1.26)

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

Akira Niho (-) vs Ryota Takinaka (1-2, 7.90)

Central League

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

Kodai Umetsu (-) vs Michael Peoples (-)

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

Masato Morishita (3-2, 1.80) vs Seishu Hatake (2-1, 4.95)

Active roster moves 5/2/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/12. Players marked with an asterisk are coronavirus activations and deactivations, meaning they can be recalled as soon as they are cleared even before 10 days pass.

Central League

Activated

None

Dectivated

SwallowsP14Hirotoshi Takanashi

Pacific League

Activated

BuffaloesP58Kazuyuki Kaneda
BuffaloesOF69Stefen Romero

Dectivated

LionsP40Ichiro Tamura
LionsP45Keisuke Honda
FightersC60Takuya Kori
FightersIF53Ronny Rodriguez*
FightersIF91Yuto Takahama*
BuffaloesP63Soichiro Yamazaki
BuffaloesIF36Tatsuya Yamaashi

NPB wrap 4-28-21

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Fighters rookie Ito gets 1st win

Fighters 4, Hawks 3

At Fukuoka’s PayPay DomeHiromi Ito (1-2), Nippon Ham’s top signing from last year’s draft, scattered five walks and four hits over six scoreless innings to get the better of 40-year-old SoftBank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada (2-2).

There were some tense moments at the end, however, as closer Toshihiro Sugiura gave up ninth-inning solo homers to Kenta Imamiya, his second, and Yuki Yanagita, his fifth. Wada allowed four runs on eight hits but no walks over five-plus innings while striking out six.

Kensuke Kondo delivered the big blow for the Fighters with a two-run sixth-inning homer, his fifth.

Lions 3, Marines 2

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Takumi Kuriyama snapped a 2-2 tie with an eighth-inning leadoff homer, his first, off Lotte reliever Yuki Karakawa (1-1). Seibu middle reliever Kaima Taira (1-0), the Pacific League’s 2020 rookie of the year, worked around a leadoff double in the eighth to earn the win, while Tatsushi Masuda pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.

Marines lefty Kazuya Ojima allowed two runs over six. He took a 2-1 lead into the home half of the sixth after Leonys Martin homered to open the top of the inning with his ninth home run of the season. After Kuriyama lined out to lead off the Lions’ sixth, Aito Takeda tied it with his fourth homer. Lotte’s Frank Herrmann pitched out of a two-on two-out jam in the seventh.

The Marines hit into two double plays in the first inning, thanks to a dropped throw by Seibu starter Tatsuya Imai on an attempted 3-6-1 double play and the scoring convention of giving a fielder an assist on outs that aren’t made because of a dropped throw. Imai allowed two runs on two hits and six walks while striking out six over seven innings.

He got out the Marines’ one-run first by an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play. According to Daily Sports, it was the sixth time a team has literally turned two, and the first since July 16, 2011, when the Hiroshima Carp mismanaged the feat.

Buffaloes0,Eagles 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Rakuten veteran Takahiro Norimoto duked it out for eight innings, when Eagles closer Yuki Matsui took over. The lefty overcame a pair of two-out four-pitch walks by striking out Takahiro Okada after falling behind 2-0 to end it as the clubs tied for the second straight night.

Yamamoto struck out five and walked one while allowing three hits in his 96-pitch outing. Norimoto threw 98 pitches, striking out six and walking one while allowing a pair of two-out hits.

Giants 7, Swallows3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yomiuri lefty Yuki Takahashi (5-0) became Japan’s first five-game winner by allowing three runs over six innings as Yoshihiro Maru and Kazuma Okamoto each homered and combined for five RBIs. Justin Smoak went 3-for-4 in his second game with a solo homer and a double.

Albert Suarez (1-2) served up 12 hits and issued a walk, allowing six runs over four innings. Tetsuto Yamada tied Swallows teammate for the Japan home run lead with his 10th home run, his fifth in five games.

Zelous Wheeler hit three doubles for the Giants, while new Swallows import Jose Osuna doubled and walked in four trips to the plate.

BayStars 13, Carp2, 8 innings, rain

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, catcher Hiroki Minei put DeNA up 2-1 in the second with a two-out, two-run double, Tyler Austin put the Carp in a hole with two-run third-inning home run, his second, and reliever Shingo Hirata ended a two-run fifth-inning Carp rally by getting a double play in relief of starter Masaya Kyoyama.

Carp lefty Hiroki Tokoda (1-2) gave up five runs, four earned over four innings. He retired the first five BayStars before Toshiro Miyzaki singled in the second and Neftali Soto doubled to set the table for Minei.

Austin went 3-for-4, while Soto went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in DeNA’s four-run seventh. Rookie Shugo Maki drove in four late runs with RBI doubles. New import Kevin Shackelford and lefty Edwin Escobar each worked a scoreless inning for the BayStars.

Dragons 6,Tigers 1

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Dragons right-hander Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-1) struck out seven over 5-1/3 scoreless innings in which he allowed five hits and a walk. Takuya Kinoshita put Chunichi on the board against right-handed side-armer Koyo Aoyagi (2-2) with a two-out second-inning RBI double and scored on an Akira Neo single.

The Dragons put the game away in the eighth on Nobumasa’s one-out solo homer, his first, and a Dayan Viciedo three-run shot, his first home run since Opening Day.

New Dragons Mike Gerber went 1-for-4 in his Japan debut. Jefry Marte singled and plated the Tigers’ only run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly. Jerry Sands doubled in the second, when the visitors’ rally was cut short on a good play by Dragons shortstop Yota Kyoda.

Aoyagi allowed two runs on a walk and three hits while striking out seven over six innings to take the tough loss.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Sho Ito (0-0, 1.26) vs Daiki Iwashita (2-2, 2.45)

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

Shota Takeda (1-1, 3.24) vs Takahide Ikeda (2-2, 3.42)

Center League

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

Koji Fukutani (1-1, 3.68) vs Chen Wei-Yin (-)

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

Shogo Tamamura (-) vs Haruhiro Hamaguchi (0-3, 4.15)

Active roster moves 4/28/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/8

Central League

Activated

GiantsIF98Estamy Urena
DragonsOF99Mike Gerber
BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama

Dectivated

GiantsOF44Eric Thames
DragonsOF6Ryosuke Hirata

Pacific League

Activated

MarinesC53Naoya Emura
EaglesOF25Kazuki Tanaka
BuffaloesP45Shota Abe

Dectivated

HawksOF24Yuya Hasegawa
MarinesC22Tatsuhiro Tamura
BuffaloesP29Daiki Tajima

NPB Wrap 4-27-21

Today’s Orix

“Rakuten didn’t catch up, Orix gave the game away. It’s like a weekly occurence, or ‘Today’s Orix.'”

–Former Rakuten Eagles manager Dave Okubo on Pro Yakyu News

Buffaloes 5, Eagles 5

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix third baseman Tatsuya Yamaashi’s defensive miss-steps—one miss-throw and one miss-step to be precise—contributed to three Buffaloes relievers allowing three ninth-inning runs to tie it

Eagles veteran Takayuki Kishi had his second straight mediocre start, allowing three runs over six innings, easily outpitched by Daiki Tajima, who gave up a run over seven while striking out seven and walking one.

Steven Moya went 3-for-4 with a double and a sixth-inning home run for Orix, while teammate Yutaro Sugimoto’s two-run eighth-inning homer made it a 5-2 game.

After a leadoff walk, Yamaashi’s wide throw on a potential double play ball pulled his teammate off the bag at second, bringing the tying run to the plate. After a walk loaded the bases, Yamaashi let another double play opportunity slip. He went to step on the bag for the force before throwing home for the tag. Unfortunately, Yamaashi neglected to step on the bag, and only managed to get the first out of the inning at home.

Daichi Suzuki followed with an RBI single and Hiroaki Shimauchi delivered a two-run double. Rakuten closer Yuki Matsui threw a scoreless ninth to lock down the tie.

Fighters 7, Hawks 2

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Nippon Ham’s Takayuki Kato (2-0) held SoftBank to two runs over seven innings, while Mizuki Hori and Bryan Rodriguez mopped up for the last-place Fighters.

Carter Stewart Jr. entered in long relief with the Hawks losing 3-0 in the fourth and got a lot of work, allowing four runs over 2-2/3 innings in which he allowed five hits, walked two and struck out two.

The Pro Yakyu News crew was fairly annoyed by Fighters skipper Hideki Kuriyama using Sho Nakata in the No. 2 spot, but stopped short of calling it an insult the way Alex Ramirez’s similar use of Yoshitomo Tsutsugo two years ago was treated.

Nakata walked three times doubled and scored two runs. So there.

Lions 3, Marines 1

At MetLife Dome, Towa Uema (1-1) held Japan’s best offense to a run over five innings and Seibu’s bullpen pitched four innings of shutout ball to beat Ayumu Ishikawa (1-1) and Lotte. Ishikawa allowed five hits and a walk and threw 101 pitches in the eight-inning complete-game loss.

Cory Spangenberg was moved up to the No. 2 spot, from where he reached base twice and scored. Reed Garrett, the first of four Lions relievers, worked around a one-out single in a scoreless fifth.

Spangenberg was run out on the bases in the first, but he and leadoff man Sosuke Genda set up the Lions decisive runs in the fourth. After they reached on singles, Genda took second on a fly to the track with Spangenberg taking second, allowing both to score on a Takeya Nakamura single.

Giants 14, Swallows 11

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, with the wind blowing out, there were seven home runs, including four in a ninth inning that started 8-8 and which both teams combined to score nine runs. Yomiuri’s Zelous Wheeler, who entered as a substitute after Eric Thames’ debut was cut short by a ruptured right Achilles tendon rupture, homered to lead off the ninth against Yakult closer Taichi Ishiyama (0-1).

The win lifted the Giants back into second place and snapped Yakult’s first five-game win streak in three years.

Wheeler entered in the bottom of the third and went 4-for-4, tacking on a single in his second at-bat in the ninth inning.

Scott McGough pitched a scoreless eighth for Yakult, but Giants lefty Kota Nakagawa (2-1) worked a scoreless eighth to earn the win, while Ryoma Nogami stopped the bleeding with three solid innings of middle relief.

Thames and Justin Smoak both made their long-awaited debuts. Smoak went 2-for-4 with a single in his first at-bat and another in Yomiuri’s two-run inning against tough middle reliever Noboru Shimizu. Thames struck out twice before injuring his right calf landing on the outfield turf on a Jose Osuna single.

It was one of two high bounces that helped keep the Swallows offense ticking along. The Swallows offense was powered mostly two homers, a single and a walk from slugger Munetaka Murakami, while Giants cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto singled, doubled, walked, had a sacrifice fly and hit a two-run ninth-inning homer.

On Pro Yakyu News, Yutaka Takagi attributed the Swallows’ loss in the wild slug fest to a missed two-strike sacrifice in the eighth inning.

Dragons 2, Tigers 1

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi’s Sawamura Award winner Yudai Ono (1-2) allowed a run over eight innings to outduel Yuki Nishi (3-1). Hanshin rookie Teruaki Sato hit a massive bomb for his seventh home run, and the Tigers’ only score, in the second.

Dayan Viciedo and Akira Neo each had two hits for the Dragons to help set up their runs. Closer Raidel Martinez struck out three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to earn his second save.

“I earned my first win this season in my fifth game, that’s a whole lot better than last year when I didn’t win until my seventh, so I’m pretty pleased,” said Ono, who earned won his seventh straight decision against Hanshin in Nagoya.

Carp 10, BayStars 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima’s Masato Morishita (3-2) went 2-for-3 with a an RBI single in the Carp’s seven-run third when Shinichi Onuki (1-2) was sent packing after 2-1/3 innings.

Rookie Ryutaro Hatsuki opened the big inning with an infield single and capped the rally with a three-run triple. Morishita struck out seven, hit a batter, and allowed three hits.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Tatsuya Imai (1-2, 2.74) vs Kazuya Ojima (0-1, 4.30)

Buffaloes vs Eagles: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-2, 1.73) vs Takahiro Norimoto (2-1, 2.81)

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

Tsuyoshi Wada (2-1, 2.55) vs Hiromi Ito (0-2, 2.77)

Central League

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

Albert Suarez (1-1, 2.05) vs Yuki Takahashi (4-0, 1.29)

Dragons vs Tigers: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Akiyoshi Katsuno (2-1, 4.19) vs Koyo Aoyagi (2-1, 2.08)

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

Hiroki Tokoda (1-1, 3.74) vs Masaya Kyoyama (0-2, 9.00)

Active roster moves 4/27/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/7

Central League

Activated

GiantsP23Ryoma Nogami
GiantsIF10Justin Smoak
GiantsOF44Eric Thames

Dectivated

None

Pacific League

Activated

HawksOF30Naoki Sato
FightersP58Masaki Tanigawa
FightersOF3Wan Po-jung 
BuffaloesP63Soichiro Yamazaki

Dectivated

HawksP28Rei Takahashi
BuffaloesP52Tyler Higgins