Stewart gets 1st top team start
Carter Stewart Jr., the eighth overall pick in MLB’s 2018 draft, will make his first Pacific League start for the SoftBank Hawks on Sunday. He’ll be standing in for former Chicago Cubs lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, whom the Hawks deactivated Saturday due to “lack of right-arm fitness.”
On the farm this year, Stewart is 6-0 with a 1.47 ERA. He’s allowed 35 hits in 49 innings while walking 19 and striking out 51. He’s allowed six runs in four first-team relief outings with seven strikeouts and nine walks in 5-1/3 innings.
and Roki the rocket will pitch too
Another young headliner for Sunday will be teenage flamethrower Roki Sasaki, who will pitch against the Buffaloes. Sasaki has a 3.76 ERA in 26-1/3 innings. On the farm, he’s allowed three runs, one earned, on 10 hits and one homer over 20 innings, striking out 19, walking three and hitting two.
Olympic break special offer
3 Free Months: Japanese baseball is cranking back up after its nearly month-long Olympic break. To mark the occasion all new (or returning) paid subscribers by Sunday, Aug. 15, will get three months free. Paid subscribers get unlimited access to paid content and all posts older than 6 months. So now’s a great chance to keep up as the pennant races heat up.
Hawks 2, Fighters 0
At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Nao Higashihama (3-2, 3.14) matched Shuta Ishikawa’s 11 strikeouts on Friday with a career-high 11 of his own over eight innings as the Hawks managed a three-hit shutout after a one-hitter the day before. Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-4, 3.39) allowed two runs over 6-2/3 innings while striking out 10.
Yuki Yanagita doubled and opened the scoring on an Alfredo Despaigne single, and the Fighters set Kenta Imamiya up for an RBI double by playing shallow with two outs and a runner on second in the seventh, allowing his routine fly to deep center to drive in a run.
With their bullpen still depleted, Sho Iwasaki worked around Wang Po-jung’s leadoff infield single in the ninth to record his fifth save.
Marines 4, Buffaloes 2
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Orix took an early two-run lead for the second straight day, but the Marines bounced back against lefty Daiki Tajima (5-6, 3.65) in a four-run second on four hits, including two doubles and Kyota Fujiwara’s rally-capping two-run homer, his third.
Manabu Mima (4-4, 5.84) allowed the first four Buffaloes to reach in the second but stranded two in the fourth and three in the fifth to leave with a two-run lead and four Lotte relievers finished up with Chihaya Sasaki and closer Naoya Masuda combining to retire the final six hitters. Masuda earned his 23rd save.
Eagles 7, Lions 6
At MetLife Dome, Rakuten’s bullpen delivered more quality innings, allowing the Eagles to survive a slugfest with Yuki Matsui to earn his 24th save.
Hiroaki Shimauchi and Eigoro Mogi homered to break a 2-2 fourth-inning tie off Tatsuya Imai, only for Hotaka Yamakawa to tie it again with a two-run bases-loaded fifth-inning double off Eagles reliever Yuya Fukui.
Tomohito Sakai and Tomohiro Anraku each stranded a pair of runners in the sixth and seventh, but Sung Chia-hao took a 7-4 lead into the eighth and barely escaped with the lead. He gave up two runs and escaped only when Takumi Kuriyama lined into a double play.
Lions closer Tatsushi Masuda (0-3), appearing for the first time since May 1, surrendered two runs in the top of the seventh and Matt Dermody gave up an insurance run in the eighth. Reed Garrett worked a scoreless ninth after it was already to late for the Lions.
Eagles starter Ryota Takinaka was yanked after allowing two runs in four innings.
Giants 6, Dragons 1
At Tokyo Dome, New Olympic bronze medalist C. C. Mercedes (5-1, 2.25) allowed a run in the first on a leadoff walk, a sacrifice and back-to-back singles before a pair of strikeouts got him out of the inning. Mercedes pitched the Dominican Republic’s opener against Japan, and allowed a run over six innings in a duel with Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Mercedes repeatedly worked out of trouble but came out after throwing 108 pitches over five innings.
The Giants took a 3-1 lead against Yariel Rodriguez (0-1, 4.82) in the first. Seiya Matsubara singled to open the inning before Hayato Sakamoto and Yoshihiro Maru, who drove the Giants’ offense in their 4-2 come-from-behind win on Friday, did the rest. Sakamoto, Yomiuri’s lone gold medalist, had three hits and a walk the night before. He walked, and Maru plated them with his 11th home run.
BayStars vs Swallows
At Niigata’s Hard Off Eco Stadium, rained out
Tigers 9, Carp 3
At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Jerry Sands blasted his 18th and 19th home runs way up into the cheap seats, while summer trade acquisition Akira Niho (1-0, 5.11) allowed three runs over 5-1/3 innings to earn the win.
Carp starter Allen Kuri (7-6, 3.70) blew a 1-0 lead in the second on an error, singles by Mel Rojas Jr. and Ryutaro Umeno and a Koji Chikamoto sac fly. Sands’ first homer made it 3-1 in the third. Umeno singled to lead off the fourth but was cut down at home on a throw from Seiya Suzuki in right. With two outs, Sands blasted a three-run shot and Yusuke Oyama followed by homering for the second straight day with his 12th. Oyama later chipped in with his 13th.
Carp catcher Shogo Sakakura, who singled in a run in the first, took Niho deep in the sixth for a solo homer, his fifth. Rookie Kota Hayashi then chased Niho with his fifth homer.
Lions vs Eagles: MetLife Dome 5 pm, 4 am EDT
Marines vs Buffaloes: Zozo Marine Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT
Hawks vs Fighters: PayPay Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT
Giants vs Dragons: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT
BayStars vs Swallows: Hard Off Eco Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Tigers vs Carp: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 8/14/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/24