Tag Archives: Yusuke Oyama

NPB 2020 OCT. 11

Sunday’s games

Other news

Hawks take 2 from nemeses Marines

Tsuyoshi Wada (7-1) survived uncharacteristic command issues to work five innings and a parade of six relievers completed a combined three-hitter as the SoftBank Hawks beat the Lotte Marines 3-0 at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome and knocking their nemeses two games back in the Pacific League pennant race.

Wada walked four batters and struck out six while allowing his only hit with two outs and none on in the fifth inning. Yuito Mori worked around a ninth-inning single to record his 26th save of the year and the 100th of his career.

Manabu Mima (9-3) allowed three runs over seven innings on eight hits and three walks. Ukyo Shuto got things started for the Hawks in the third with a one-out single. He’d reached in the first on a bouncer to short, and Mima jammed him in the third but his flare fell into shallow center. He then scored on an Akira Nakamura double.

Nobuhiro Matsuda homered to open the fourth, Wladimir Balentien singled, was sacrificed to second and scored from third on Shuto’s second infield hit of the game. Shuto also stole two bases to raise his league-leading total to 34.

No cigar in Sendai

Ryota Takinaka, the Rakuten Eagles’ sixth pick in the 2019 draft, earned his first career win but lost his shutout bid with two outs in the ninth inning of an 8-2 win over the Seibu Lions at Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi.

throwing a particularly nasty curve and a good changeup, the 25-year-old Takinaka (1-1) allowed five hits while striking out eight and walking none. Whem Takinaka gave up Ernesto Mejia’s two-out two-run double in the ninth on his 129th pitch, Eagles manager Hajime Miki finally pulled the plug on the youngster’s bid to go the distance.

“I really wanted him to go all the way, but considering his pitch count, his current fitness and some other things I decided we’d try for that next time,” Miki said. “He mixed his pitches well and changed speeds.”

“Of course, his curve was as advertised but I thought the big thing was his command of the fastball.”

After Saturday’s game was called after three innings and cost both the Eagles and the Lions a starting pitcher, Takinaka’s going into the ninth gave Rakuten a break going into Monday’s makeup game, while the Lions needed three of their second-tier relievers after starter Wataru Matsumoto (4-5), who gave up five runs in four innings.

Hideto Asamura hit his PL-leading 30th home run for the Eagles.

Higgins KO’s Fighters in 7th

Tyler Higgins faced off with one of the Nippon Ham Fighters more dangerous hitters, coming in with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh and kept the hosts off the board in the Orix Buffaloes’ 7-5 win at Sapporo Dome.

Higgins struck out Ota on six pitches with three swinging strikes at his changeup to end the inning. Ota had helped the Fighters close the gap with a two-run double in their four-run sixth. In the eighth, the right-hander struck out cleanup hitter Sho Nakata, who’d homered in the sixth, en route to a 1-2-3 eighth.

Buffaloes starter Hirotoshi Masui (2-2) returned to his old stomping grounds and earned the win after allowing three runs in 5-1/3 innings on a day when Orix skipper Satoshi Nakajima, a longtime player and coach with the Fighters, gave his imported hitters the day off.

Dragons get past rookie Togo

Tatsuya Shimizu (1-0) scattered four walks and three hits over 5-2/3 innings and got some big help from the bullpen to earn the win as the Chunichi Dragons beat Yomiuri Giants and rookie of the year candidate Shosei Togo 7-0 at Nagoya Dome.

Dragons captain Shuhei Takahashi broke the scoreless deadlock in the fourth with an RBI single, and 35-year-old right-hander Keisuke Tanimoto retired Zelous Wheeler with two on and two outs in the top of the sixth to preserve a 1-0 Chunichi lead.

With two outs in the sixth, Dayan Viciedo doubled and scored on a Takahashi double off Togo (8-5), who allowed four hits, a walk and hit a batter over six innings.

With a game scheduled for Monday, Giants manager Tatsunori Hara did not turn the game over to his best after Togo left and the Dragons scored five in the seventh.

Oyama clinches HR derby

Hanshin Tigers cleanup hitter Yusuke Oyama pulled into a tie for the Central League home run lead with his 25th home run, a two-run fifth-inning blow that gave the hosts the lead in a 4-3 win over the DeNA BayStars at Koshien Stadium.

The BayStars got solo home runs from Keita Sano, his 16th, Tyler Austin, his 17th and Jose Lopez, his eighth.

Oyama doubled and scored on a Jerry Sands single as Hanshin took a 2-1 lead in the second. Trailing 3-2 in the fifth, Oyama went deep off starter Taiga Kamichatani (2-3).

Takumi Akiyama (7-3) started and earned the win for the Tigers, while Jon Edwards, Shintaro Fujinami and Robert Suarez each worked one perfect inning of relief. Suarez earned his 20th save.

Carp terrorize Swallows’ little river

The Hiroshima Carp overwhelmed Yakult Swallows starter Yasuhiro Ogawa in a six-run fifth inning en route to a 7-4 win at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium.

Hiroshima’s Yuta Nakamura (2-2) held the visitors to a run over six innings, and Kosuke Tanaka gave him the lead in the fourth, when he tripled and scored on a Seiya Suzuki single.

Ogawa (9-5) then allowed five straight runners to reach in the fifth, with Nakamura chasing him with an RBI single that made it 3-0. The Swallows battled back against the Carp bullpen before closer Geronimo Franzua worked around two hits in a scoreless ninth to earn his 13th save.

Swallows Igarashi to call it quits

Yakult Swallows right-hander Ryota Igarashi will retire at the end of the 2020 season, multiple media outlets reported on Sunday.

The 41-year-old Igarashi, who played most of his career with the Central League club, pitched two seasons for the Mets in 2010 and 2011 before appearing in two games each for the Blue Jays and Yankees in 2012.

He returned to Japan in 2013 and spent six seasons with the SoftBank Hawks before returning last year to Tokyo and the Swallows.

In 2002, he and fellow hard-throwing middle reliever Hirotoshi Ishii became known as the Rocket Boys. His 822 games are seventh most in Japan.

Active roster moves 10/11/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/21

Central League

Activated

BayStarsP27Taiga Kamichatani
CarpP46Mikiya Takahashi
CarpIF51Kaito Kozono
CarpIF63Ryoma Nishikawa

Dectivated

BayStarsP26Haruhiro Hamaguchi
CarpP30Ryuji Ichioka
CarpIF44Kota Hayashi
CarpOF37Takayoshi Noma

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP47Kouki Matsuoka
FightersP29Kazutomo Iguchi
BuffaloesP17Hirotoshi Masui

Dectivated

LionsP30Daiki Enokida

Starting pitchers for Oct. 12, 2020

Pacific League

Eagles vs Lions: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Yuya Fukui (0-4, 5.26) vs Katsunori Hirai (5-4, 4.50)

Central League

Dragons vs Giants: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Koji Fukutani (5-2, 2.76) vs Toshiki Sakurai (2-3, 4.89)

NPB 2020 Oct. 5

PL

No games scheduled

Tuesday’s games

CL

  • Giants vs BayStars
  • Dragons vs Swallows
  • Carp vs Tigers

PL

  • Fighters vs Eagles
  • Lions vs Hawks
  • Marines vs Buffaloes

Other news

Tigers’ Takahashi deals out Giants

Lefty Haruto Takahashi (4-3) struck out 14 over the distance in the Hanshin Tigers’ 6-1 win over the Yomiuri Giants on Monday to earn a split of their four-game series at Koshien Stadium.

Despite giving both Justin Bour and Jerry Sands the night off, the Tigers took the attack to the visitors with 13 hits and four walks. Yusuke Oyama went 3-for-4 with a homer, a walk, three runs, and two RBIs.

He led off the fourth with a single and scored the tying run from first when Fumihito Haraguchi followed with a double. With two outs in the fifth, Yoshio Itoi singled and scored on Oyama’s 24th home run, tying him with Giants cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto for the league lead.

Giants starter Toshiki Sakurai (2-3) lasted five innings.

Imanaga likely out for season

DeNA BayStars Opening Day starting pitcher Shota Imanaga has had surgery to clean out his left shoulder, the team said Monday. He is expected to miss two to three months.

The 27-year-old southpaw is 5-3 this season with a 3.23 ERA. He was deactivated on Aug. 16 with discomfort in the shoulder.

“I decided to have shoulder surgery after a really difficult deliberation,” he said in a Japanese language comment released by the team.

Active roster moves 10/5/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/15

Central League

Activated

GiantsP35Toshiki Sakurai
TigersP93Masaki Ishii

Dectivated

TigersP91Yuya Yokoyama
CarpP43Sotaro Shimauchi
CarpIF96Alejandro Mejia
DragonsP38Takahiro Matsuba
SwallowsP28Daiki Yoshida

Pacific League

Activated

None

Dectivated

LionsOF68Junichiro Kishi
EaglesP72Shun Ikeda
EaglesIF36Yasuhito Uchida
MarinesP46Daiki Iwashita
FightersP28Ryusei Kawano
BuffaloesP13Hiroya Miyagi

Starting pitchers for Oct. 5, 2020

Pacific League

Fighters vs Eagles: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Naoyuki Uwasawa (7-4, 2.37) vs Takahiro Norimoto (5-4, 3.67)

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

Kona Takahashi (5-8, 4.52) vs Kodai Senga (7-5, 3.01)

Marines vs Buffaloes: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Ayumu Ishikawa (7-3, 4.20) vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto (7-3, 2.43)

Central League

Giants vs BayStars: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Tomoyuki Sugano (12-0, 1.76) vs Yuya Sakamoto (3-0, 5.13)

Dragons vs Swallows: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Akiyoshi Katsuno (2-4, 4.46) vs Yasuhiro Ogawa (9-4, 3.70)

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

Allen Kuri (5-5, 3.97) vs Koyo Aoyagi (6-7, 4.29)

NPB 2020 Oct. 2

Other news

Nishi masters Giants again

Yuki Nishi (8-4) failed to shut out the Yomiuri Giants for the second straight time, but did hold them to a run over eight innings to improve to 3-0 against the league leaders in the Hanshin Tigers’ 4-1 win at Koshien Stadium.

Yusuke Oyama hit a high straight forkball deep into the left-field stands for his 23rd home run to lead off the second against Nobutaka Imura (3-2). Giants cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto leads the league with 24.

Nishi became the 179th pitcher in Japanese pro baseball history to pitch 1,500 innings. He allowed five hits and struck out eight without allowing a walk. Robert Suarez pitched an easy ninth inning against the heart of the Giants order to earn his 19th save.

Twelve days after his 20th birthday, Tigers shortstop Ryuhei Kobata had his first three-hit “modasho” game.

Viciedo HR beats BayStars

Dayan Viciedo broke a 5-5 tie with a three-run eighth-inning home run off lefty Kenta Ishida (1-3) in the Chunichi Dragons’ 8-5 win over the DeNA BayStars at Yokohama Stadium.

First-year DeNA import Tyler Austin, playing in just his 35th game, hit his 10th home run, a two-run shot in the third that broke a 1-1 tie.

Carp outlast Swallows

Matt Koch (0-3) allowed three runs over three innings in long relief of Hirotoshi Takanashi to take the loss as the Yakult Swallows fell 7-5 to the Hiroshima Carp at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

Reserve Swallows catcher Akihisa Nishida tied the game 3-3 with a one-out solo homer in the fourth inning. Nishida hit the seventh pitch he saw from lefty Hiroki Tokoda (3-6), and then did his best impression of Kirk Gibson impersonating Walter Brennan running the bases, having been helped off the field after fouling the second pitch off his thigh.

Matsuda, Kawashima lead Hawks

Nobuhiro Matsuda homered, doubled, walked, scored twice and drove in two in the SoftBank Hawks 7-5 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome.

Light-hitting utility infielder Keizo Kawashima batted fourth for the first time in his 15th pro season. Perhaps manager Kimiyasu Kudo held a lottery to decide. Whatever the reason, Kawashima singled in a first-inning run off right-hander Kenta Uehara (1-2).

“I thought, ‘Please don’t put me there.’ No. I’m just kidding. I went up there to hit. I wonder how I’ll do tomorrow,” he told fans in the postgame hero interview.

No sooner was the Fighters’ Christian Villanueva declared concussion-free than he began concussing baseballs, hammering one to the wall in center where Yuki Yanagita made a good catch, and one into the left-field stands in the fourth. The home run, his fourth, put the Fighters in front. It was his first since Aug. 26.

On Sept. 25, Villanueva was in the field when he collided with injury-plagued Orix Buffaloes teenager Ryo Ota, causing both to be deactivated. Players deactivated due to concussion concerns do not have to sit out 10 days once they complete the concussion protocol program.

Matt Moore (4-2) allowed four runs over six innings to earn the win. Livan Moinelo worked the eighth inning and made it 21 games without allowing a run as he recorded his league-leading 33rd hold. Yuito Mori earned his 24th save.

Matsui gets win in 6-pitcher shutout

A day after blowing the lead and taking the loss in his first relief outing of the season, Yuki Matsui (4-4) earned the win for the Rakuten Eagles by retiring both batters he faced in the seventh inning of a 4-0 win over the Orix Buffaloes at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.

Takahiro Shiomi started and worked 5-1/3 innings and five relievers completed a nine-hit shutout without issuing a walk. Buffaloes lefty Taisuke Yamaoka worked seven scoreless innings, thanks to the dome’s ground rules and a failure to communicate by the umpires.

Hiroaki Shimauchi singled in a run in the eighth, and Ryosuke Tatsumi added a three-run homer.

The Eagles opened each of the first two innings with extra-base hits but failed to score. Rookie Hiroto Kobukata tripled to open the first, and former Buffalo Stefen Romero doubled in the second in his old park.

What we have here is a failure to communicate

Romero hit a drive above one of the rings suspended from the dome’s ceiling. The ball fell in play, and the umpires stood there like dummies instead of signaling “fair ball.” Romero cruised around the bases, while the ball was retrieved and thrown back to the infield. Orix third baseman Shuhei Fukuda took a chance and tagged Romero as he approached the third base bag, when the umps finally acted–and called him out.

This was reminiscent of Game 1 of the 2004 Japan Series. infamous umpire Atsushi Kittaka called the batter out on a ball hit in front of the plate but didn’t tell anyone, leading to a missed double play opportunity for the fielding team and a 50-minute disruption. Kittaka was removed from the series umpiring crew the following day.

Mejia answers call

Ernesto Mejia did as he was asked in the 10th inning at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, lifting the Seibu Lions to a 1-0 win over the Lotte Marines by leading off the 10th inning with his 10th home run of the year.

In the postgame interview, Mejia said second baseman Shuta Tonosaki asked him to hit one out.

Active roster moves 10/2/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/12

Central League

Activated

GiantsP45Nobutaka Imamura
CarpIF44Kota Hayashi

Dectivated

GiantsIF68Kazuya Katsuki
CarpP70Tayler Scott

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP17Sho Iwasaki
HawksOF4Wladimir Balentien
FightersIF44Christian Villanueva

Dectivated

HawksP63Hiroyuki Kawahara
FightersC64Yua Tamiya

Starting pitchers for Oct. 3, 2020

Pacific League

Marines vs Lions: Zozo Marine Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Toshiya Nakamura (2-4, 5.08) vs Reed Garrett (3-2, 3.53)

Buffaloes vs Eagles: Kyocera Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Chang Yi (1-2, 3.86) vs Ryota Ishibashi (1-4, 5.93)

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

Nao Higashihama (5-1, 2.81) vs Kohei Arihara (5-7, 3.96)

Central League

Swallows vs Carp: Jingu Stadium 6:30 pm, 5:30 am EDT

Albert Suarez (4-0, 1.75) vs Masato Morishita (6-3, 2.63)

BayStars vs Dragons: Yokohama Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (6-4, 3.69) vs Koji Fukutani (4-2, 2.47)

Tigers vs Giants: Koshien Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Joe Gunkel (1-2, 2.87) vs Seishu Hatake (1-3, 4.45)

NPB 2020 Sept. 21

Justin time

Justin Bour hit a game-tying home run and then drove in the go-ahead run as the Hanshin Tigers came from behind to beat the DeNA BayStars 5-3 at Koshien Stadium on Monday.

Tigers starter Minoru Iwata got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning with a perfect pitch to produce a double play, but bad pitches cost him his early lead.

Yoshito Itoi doubled and scored when DeNA Starter Masaya Kyoyama made a mistake to Jerry Sands and he drilled it for a first-inning single.

Tyler Austin’s seventh home run tied it in the fourth and more followed in the BayStars’ two-run fifth, but Itoi and Bour were too locked in for Kyoyama to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard. Itoi singled in a run in the bottom of the fifth and Bour tied it with his 14th homer in the sixth.

The left-handed hitter hammered a fastball high and away over the fence in center. BayStars reliever Yuki Kuniyoshi made a mistake in the eighth to Yusuke Oyama. A single and a passed ball put the runner on second, and some good base running allowed Oyama to score when Bour followed with a single.

Robert Suarez struck out two in the ninth en route to his 16th save. Jon Edwards, pitching on the top team for the first time since Opening Day, worked a scoreless sixth, the first of four Tigers relievers.

Giants blow up Kuri

Hiroshima Carp starter Allen Kuri (4-5) allowed six runs, five earned, over four innings to squander a two-run first-inning lead in a 10-3 loss to the Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome.

Giants leadoff man Naoki Yoshikawa reached base three times, scored three runs and drove in one to lead the way, while Hayato Sakamoto had three hits and a pair of RBI doubles.

Swallows blow lead in loss for 20th time

Zoilo Almonte overturned a one-run deficit with his seventh home run, a third-inning, two-run shot off submarine right-hander Hirofumi Yamanaka (1-2) in the Chunichi Dragons’ 9-3 win over the Yakult Swallows at Nagoya Dome.

The Swallows opened the scoring off Akiyoshi Katsuno (2-3) in the second when Munetaka Murakami homered for the second straight game with his 16th of the season. But Toshiki Abe and Ryosuke Hirata also drove in two runs apiece to pace the Dragons’ attack.

It was the 20th time this season the Swallows have led a game only to lose, the most in the Central League.

Marines acquire former Marlin, Oriole Chen

Taiwan lefty Chen Wei-yin has signed with the Lotte Marines, the Pacific League club announced Monday. The 35-year-old has won 59 games in the majors and prior to that 36 for the Central League’s Chunichi Dragons.

The Marines on Monday are second in the PL pennant race, 1-1/2 games back of the three-time defending Japan Series champion SoftBank Hawks.

“I am very happy to join Marines,” he said in a statement released by the club. “I will do my best to be the best in Japan.”

“I have a strong impression of the Marines from 2010 when we lost the Japan Series to them. I remember how amazingly unique their supporters are.”

“My impression of Zozo Marine Stadium is that it is very windy, and I want to learn how to use that to my advantage on the mound. There are many players I am looking forward to facing but if I have to name one it would be Yuki Yanagita of the Hawks.”

Eagles acquire Carp reliever Johnson

The Pacific League’s Rakuten Eagles acquired 31-year-old reliever DJ Johnson D.J. Johnson on Monday from the Central League’s Hiroshima Carp for cash considerations.

Johnson, who signed this season with the Carp, has appeared in 14 games with one hold. In 13-2/3 innings, he has struck out 13, walked eight and allowed no home runs. He has a 4.61 ERA.

In 12 Western League games, he has allowed three runs in 12 innings, while striking out 13, walking six and hitting two. He has not allowed a home run in either the CL or WL.

Also on Monday, the Eagles added 31-year-old right-handed pitcher Hiroyuki Fukuyama to their 70-man roster, signing him from their developmental roster. Fukuyama was the Yokohama BayStars’ sixth pick in the 2010 draft, and pitched in the PL for the Eagles from 2013 to 2019.

Elsewhere, the Yomiuri Giants last week signed 21-year-old infielder Estamy Urena from their developmental roster. In 218 Eastern League plate appearances, Urena has posted a .358 on-base percentage and a .497 slugging average. In the minors this season, he’s played primarily at third base and in the outfield.

Eagles’ Chargois fined for verbal abuse

Former Los Angles Dodgers pitcher J.T. Chargois was fined 50,000 yen ($475) by Nippon Professional Baseball on Monday after the 29-year-old first-year Rakuten Eagles player was ejected from an Eastern League farm game on Sunday for abusive language toward an umpire.

Chargois, who also received a “severe warning,” is 0-3 in 29 Pacific League relief appearances for the Eagles with one save and a 6.29 ERA.

Active roster moves 9/21/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/1

Central League

Activated

GiantsP54Daisuke Naoe
GiantsOF36Shingo Ishikawa
BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama
TigersP21Minoru Iwata
TigersP42Jon Edwards
CarpP16Takeru Imamura
CarpP64Kyohei Nakamura
DragonsP41Akiyoshi Katsuno
SwallowsP68Hirofumi Yamanaka

Dectivated

GiantsP42Cristopher Mercedes
GiantsP45Nobutaka Imamura
BayStarsP58Yuta Muto
TigersP20Kenichi Nakata
TigersP36Masumi Hamachi
CarpP13Takuya Yasaki
CarpP46Mikiya Takahashi
SwallowsIF0Ryota Fujii

Pacific League

Activated

None

Dectivated

LionsOF73Wataru Takagi
HawksP29Shuta Ishikawa
HawksP61Masato Okumura
EaglesP11Takayuki Kishi
EaglesP43Sung Chia-hao

Starting pitchers for Sept. 22, 2020

Pacific League

Eagles vs Marines: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Wataru Karashima (0-3, 5.56) vs Ayumu Ishikawa (6-2, 3.81)

Lions vs Fighters: MetLife Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Kona Takahashi (5-6, 4.13) vs Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-3, 2.33)

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

Kodai Senga (6-4, 3.39) vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto (5-3, 2.84)

Central League

Giants vs Carp: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Tomoyuki Sugano (11-0, 1.64) vs Atsushi Endo (2-3, 4.04)

Dragons vs Swallows: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yudai Ono (5-5, 2.59) vs Masanori Ishikawa (0-4, 5.12)

Tigers vs BayStars: Koshien Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Haruto Takahashi (2-3, 2.03) vs Yuya Sakamoto (2-0, 5.51)

NPB 2020 Sept. 18

Moore the merrier against Eagles

Matt Moore (3-1) overcame an awkward start to allow two runs over 6-1/3 innings as the SoftBank Hawks departed from protocol by not practicing prior to crushing the Rakuten Eagles at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome.

Moore struggled with the bottom of umpire Tomiji Iizuka’s strike zone and threw 24 pitches in a first inning as he pitched out of a two-on one-out jam. He surrendered Stefen Romero’s 18th home run with no outs and one on in the seventh, registered his sixth strikeout and then made his exit.

Ukyo Shuto had four hits, stole two bases–he leads the PL with 20–and scored twice for the Hawks, while Yuki Yanagita hit his 24th home run for the hosts.

Neal triggers Buffaloes stampede

The Orix Buffaloes scored six runs off Zach Neal (3-6) and routed the Seibu Lions 8-2 to earn Opening Day starter Taisuke Yamaoka (1-3) his first win of the season at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.

Steven Moya, activated on Thursday, hit his first home run of the year to open the scoring in the first with a two-run shot into the second deck. Neal then surrendered four-straight hits followed by a sac fly in the five-run inning.

Yamaoka allowed two runs over six innings on eight hits and a walk while striking out six. Yutaro Sugimoto, one of the minor leaguers acting manager Satoshi Nakajima activated had four hits, scored two runs and drove in two for the Buffaloes.

Marines lose fight with reserves

Reserve outfielder Go Matsumoto singled in a run in the Nippon Ham Fighters’ five-run third inning and added a two-run home run in a bullpen day for the hosts in their 7-3 win over the Lotte Marines at Sapporo Dome.

Nick Martinez, who started the season in the rotation but has been relieving of late, allowed three runs over three innings, but Takayuki Kato (2-1) picked up the slack with three scoreless innings to earn the win while three others worked one scoreless run apiece.

The Fighters did most of their damage against lefty Toshiya Nakamura (2-3) tagging him for six runs, five earned, over 3-2/3 innings.

Austin powers Ino to victory

Tyler Austin’s sixth home run, a three-run second-inning moon shot, was the big blow in the DeNA BayStars’ 6-0 win over the Yomiuri Giants at Yokohama Stadium.

Shoichi Ino (6-4) worked six innings, and Spencer Patton, Kenta Ishida and Tomoya Mikami finished up to hand the Giants their second shutout loss since their magic number “appeared” on Tuesday. The 34-year-year-old Ino got the better of 20-year-old rookie right-hander Shosei Togo (7-4).

The BayStars win moved them to within 11 games of the defending champion Giants.

Swallows gut Carp

Naomichi Nishiura drove in four runs, including the game’s first with a sacrifice fly as the Yakult Swallows left a 14-5 mark on the Hiroshima Carp at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

Albert Suarez (3-0) allowed four runs over six innings, striking out seven without issuing any of the walks that got him demoted in July when he was leading the CL in ERA, to earn his first win since July 1. Tetsuto Yamada brought the hosts back from a run down with his ninth homer, a two-run shot in the Swallows’ five-run fifth off Hiroki Tokoda (1-6).

Oyama kills Dragons in their lair

Yusuke Oyama homered twice and drove in six runs as the Hanshin Tigers overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the Chunichi Dragons 8-4 at Nagoya Dome.

Former Dodger and Korean RBI king Jerry Sands batted fourth in front of Oyama and reached base four times. He walked twice, singled and was hit by a pitch and scored on both of his teammate’s home runs.

Active roster moves 9/18/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/28

Central League

Activated

GiantsP95Hayato Horioka
GiantsC22Seiji Kobayashi
GiantsOF88Gerardo Parra
BayStarsP35Tomoya Mikami
TigersC94Fumihito Haraguchi
DragonsP50Tatsuya Shimizu

Dectivated

GiantsP19Toyoki Tanaka
GiantsC38Yukinori Kishida
GiantsIF52Takumi Kitamura
BayStarsP45Michael Peoples
TigersC44Ryutaro Umeno

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP50Shunta Nakatsuka
MarinesP24Yusuke Azuma
FightersC22Shinya Tsuruoka

Dectivated

LionsP27Tetsuya Utsumi
MarinesP62Shoji Nagano
FightersP57Toshihiro Sugiura
BuffaloesP17Hirotoshi Masui

Starting pitchers for Sept. 19, 2020

Pacific League

Fighters vs Marines: Sapporo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kohei Arihara (4-7, 4.30) vs Tsuyoshi Ishizaki (0-0, 10.64)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Sachiya Yamasaki (2-4, 4.95) vs Sean Nolin (1-1, 7.20)

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

Shunsuke Kasaya (2-3, 3.48) vs Ryota Takinaka (-)

Central League

Swallows vs Carp: Jingu Stadium 6:30 pm, 5:30 am EDT

Daiki Yoshida (1-4, 5.15) vs Masato Morishita (6-2, 2.39)

BayStars vs Giants: Yokohama Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (4-4, 3.94) vs Nobutaka Imamura (3-0, 3.72)

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

Koji Fukutani (3-2, 2.78) vs Takumi Akiyama (5-1, 3.06)

NPB 2020 Sept. 12

Austin returns with bang

Tyler Austin, missing from the DeNA BayStars lineup since his unfortunate encounter with an outfield wall on July 31, hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat on Saturday to spark a 7-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons at Yokohama Stadium.

Austin saw two fastballs and hit a low 1-0 pitch from Takahiro Matsuba (2-4) out for his fifth home run in Japan.

“I have been out of games for a while so I was extremely excited I was able to contribute tonight,” said Austin, who proved to still lack the essentials of Japanese postgame hero interviews.

Most Japanese players asked to comment on their home run would deny that driving the ball was their goal: “I was just trying to keep the rally alive, not try to do too much.”

Manager Alex Ramirez said he batted Austin sixth on a last-minute decision.

“The original plan was not to use Austin, but to rest him, maybe give him one at-bat as a ‘dai-da’ (pinch-hitter), but we needed him so bad, and I realized we needed him in the lineup, which was already done, so I put him there batting sixth, and I said from tomorrow I’ll be using him maybe second, but that’s why he was ‘roku-ban’ (sixth) today.”

“It means a lot. He brings hope to the team. When he’s in the lineup, the whole lineup looks way different. I’m very happy that he’s in the lineup.”

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (4-4) allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits and four walks while striking out four. A quartet of relievers, Spencer Patton, Edwin Escobar, Kenta Ishida and Kazuki Mishima held the Dragons to one hit and walk the rest of the way.

Oyama, Akiyama lead Tigers past Carp

Young Hanshin Tigers cleanup hitter Yusuke Oyama hit a three-run first-inning home run, and right-hander Takumi Akiyama (5-1) made it stand up in a 3-1 win over the Hiroshima Carp at Koshien Stadium.

The 25-year-old Oyama blasted his 18th home run out to center off 23-year-old Carp right-hander Atsushi Endo (2-3). Endo hung on for 4-2/3 innings but the Carp couldn’t make a dent in Akiyama until the right-hander issued his only two walks to open the eighth. One run scored after reliever Joe Gunkel got a double play. Robert Suarez worked the ninth for his 15th save.

Akiyama was asked afterward how it felt when Oyama gave him the lead. Instead of saying how the home run changed everything and gushing about his teammate, he said he still had to do his job.

“Frankly, I’m happy to get the lead, but it doesn’t change what I have to do. I still have to concentrate on every hitter and execute every pitch,” he said, while admitting that prepare as he might he still found the on-field interview format daunting.

“What (reliever Suguru) Iwazaki said the other day was so cool, so I thought I should have something ready in case I was called to the podium. I’m afraid I’ve flubbed it though. So now my goal is to pitch really well so I get another chance and can do it right.”

Two-homer Okamoto sinks Swallows

The Yomiuri Giants’ Kazuma Okamoto joined Saturday’s three-run first-inning home run party with his 20th of the season and then finished off the Yakult Swallows with a seventh-inning solo shot in a 5-4 win at Tokyo Dome.

The Swallows tied it in the fifth on a pair of home runs, including a two-run shot from Norichika Aoki. His 13th homer tied it. After the Swallows took the lead in the sixth, Giants catcher Takumi Oshiro went deep to make it a 4-4 game and set the stage for Okamoto’s seventh-inning blast.

Giants-Swallows highlights

Takaya punches out Lions

Reserve catcher Hiroaki Takaya hit a three-run homer, what else, and drove in the SoftBank Hawks’ first four runs in an 8-4 win over the Seibu Lions.

In the game at Fukuoka’s Casa de Pepe — Does anybody else remember the Steve Martin routine about speaking French or am I just too freaking old? – Shota Takeda (2-0) came back from taking a line drive to the gut in his last start to deliver a gut punch to the Seibu Lions, holding them scoreless for four innings.

Meanwhile, the Hawks offense did what the Hawks offense does, which is put good swings on good pitches and then blow games up when pitchers – in this case – Sean Nolin (1-1) make mistakes. Two hits off good pitches, a Nobuhiro Matsuda double and a Takaya single, made it 1-0 in the second, before the Hawks just wore the lefty out in the third.

A leadoff walk and a missed two-strike fastball to Akira Nakamura put runners on the corners. A grounder to first didn’t produce an out. Ernesto Mejia, who has been putting on clinics in hitting and playing first base, opted for the out at the plate on a grounder to first but failed to get it.

A one-out walk loaded the bases, and some quality hitting from Yurisbel Gracial produced a shot that second baseman Shuta Tonosaki dived for but couldn’t gather in and two more runs scored.

With two on and two outs, Nolin got ahead of Takaya 0-2 with two slow pitches before missing a 1-2 slider in the heart of the zone that Takaya lined over the right-field fence for his second home run – the highlight is that he was able to turn the tables on Gracial, whom he assists in his home run celebration.

Any runners on base will wait at home plate for the home run hitter, and then follow him to the dugout to receive high fives and fist bumps from their team. But Takaya, who normally awaits Gracial at the end of the dugout and where he is “punched out” by Gracial after an exchange of play punches. But to return the favor, Gracial had to break the rules, run ahead of Takaya so that he could wait for the catcher to return and punch him out for a change.

Active roster moves 9/12/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/22

Central League

Activated

GiantsOF39Soichiro Tateoka
BayStarsIF23Tyler Austin

Dectivated

GiantsOF43Shinnosuke Shigenobu
BayStarsOF52Seiya Hosokawa

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP61Masato Okumura

Dectivated

HawksP50Yugo Bando
EaglesP12Hiroki Kondo
FightersP18Kosei Yoshida

Starting pitchers for Sept. 13, 2020

Pacific League

Eagles vs Fighters: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Takayuki Kishi (1-0, 7.30) vs Kohei Arihara (4-6, 3.43)

Marines vs Buffaloes: Zozo Marine Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Manabu Mima (6-2, 4.84) vs Chang Yi (1-2, 3.74)

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

Shuta Ishikawa (6-1, 2.69) vs Wataru Matsumoto (2-3, 4.27)

Central League

Giants vs Swallows: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Cristopher Mercedes (3-4, 3.25) vs Yasuhiro Ogawa (8-2, 3.05)

BayStars vs Dragons: Yokohama Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Shinichi Onuki (6-2, 2.03) vs Kazuki Yoshimi (1-2, 6.23)

Tigers vs Carp: Koshien Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Shintaro Fujinami (1-5, 5.27) vs Kazuki Yabuta (0-2, 4.13)