NPB Openers

Myworld drove home from Florida spring training and just walked in the door, popped open the lap top and started typing.  We’ve been gone since February 2, so it is good to be home again.  We’ll be brief in our descriptions of the home openers.  You can see the box scores here: and here:

Yomiuri Giants 12 Hanshin Tigers 4

The defending Central League champion Giants got off to a good start, lighting up Tigers opening day starter Atsushi Nomi for ten runs in less than five innings.  The Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead scoring four unearned runs off Giant starter Tomoyuki Sugano.  The Giants battled back with runs in the third through sixth innings, a 6-run fifth inning the real back breaker.  The Giants hit four homeruns, Hayato Sakamoto a solo shot, Yasuyuki Kataoka a 3-run shot and Jose Lopez and Leslie Anderson back to back solo shots.   Lopez finished the game with three hits and four RBIs.

Yakult Swallows 9 Yokahama Bay Stars 1

The Swallows made up for a poor spring training with a win over the Bay Stars, scoring seven in the opening frame and two in the second inning.  Kazuki Mishima gave up all nine runs, lasting just two innings.  Naomichi Nishiura socked a 3-run homer in the first inning to close out the scoring, becoming the first rookie in Central League history to hit a homerun in his first at bat.  Kazuhiro Hatakeyama also had three RBIs, clearing the bases with a 3-run double in the opening frame.  Wladimir Balentien went hitless in four at bats.  The Bay Stars highlight was collecting four straight hits in the second inning to score their only run.  Yasuhiro Ogawa worked six innings to get the win for the Swallows.

Hiroshima Carp 3 Chunichi Dragons 2

Ryosuke Kikuchi hit a double in the top of the tenth to give the Carp a 3-2 lead and eventually the win against the Dragons.  Kam Mickolio came on in the tenth to finish off the Dragons and pick up the save.  Kila Ka’aihue hit a 2-run homer in the sixth for the Carps only runs until the tenth.  The Dragons scored on a solo homer from Kazuhiro Wada in the second and an RBI single from Ryosuke Hirata in the first.

Rakuten Eagles 2 Seibu Lions 1

Takahiro Norimoto got the opening day nod for the NPB champion Eagles and pulled a Tanaka start from out of his hat, pitching a complete game victory.  He struck out 10.  Kaz Matsui got him all the runs he needed with a 2-run blast in the second after an Andrew Jones lead off double.  Tanaka who?

Nippon Ham Fighters 6 Orix Buffaloes 5

Eichi Koyana hit the walk off single in the bottom of the 12th to give the Fighters the win.  The bases were loaded with one out when he got the hit.  Hirotoshi Masui pitched the last two innings without allowing a run to get the win.  The Buffaloes scored a run in the top of the ninth to tie it and both teams tallied a run in the tenth to keep the game extended.  Wily Mo Pena hit a solo homerun for the Buffaloes in the tenth.

Softbank Hawks 11 Chiba Lotte Marines 5

The Hawk bats stayed hot after the ending of spring.  Seiichi Uchikawa was the hottest popping four hits, including a 3-run homer to give him four RBIs for the day to be the offensive star.  Yuki Yanagita also homered and collected three hits.  New acquisition slugger Dae-Ho Lee did not disappoint, singling twice and driving in one run.  Tadahito Iguchi (2) and Daichi Suzuki (3) drove in all five runs for the Marines.

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