Carlos Mirabal went seven innings Friday as the Nippon Ham Fighters downed the defending Pacific League champion Seibu Lions 4-1 to give rookie manager Trey Hillman a win in his managerial debut in Japan.
Mirabal struck out six and gave up only three hits over 7 2/3 innings at Seibu Dome and Kazuteru Shimada connected for a solo homer off Seibu starter Daisuke Matsuzaka in the sixth inning.
Hillman, who managed the New York Yankees’ Triple-A farm team at Columbus for three seasons, is the first American manager in Japanese baseball since Bobby Valentine guided the Lotte Marines to a second-place finish in 1995.
Buffaloes 7, BlueWave 3
At Osaka Dome, Tuffy Rhodes went 2-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs with a double in the sixth inning as Kintetsu beat Orix.
Former Montreal Expos pitcher Masato Yoshii took the loss after giving up five runs on nine hits over four innings.
Hawks 7, Marines 3
At Fukuoka Dome, former Texas Rangers outfielder Pedro Valdes belted a two-run homer in the third inning to spark Daiei to a victory over Chiba Lotte.
Cabrera still hurting
TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. (Kyodo) Seibu Lions infielder Alex Cabrera was taken off the 28-man active roster with inflammation of the right shoulder on Friday, officials of the Pacific League club said.
The 31-year-old slugger, who arrived in Japan at the end of February, hurt the shoulder during fielding practice.
While he served as a designated hitter during preseason games, he has skipped batting practice since Sunday due to lingering pains.
Cabrera, who equaled the Japanese single-season record of 55 home runs and was named the league’s MVP last season, said he asked manager Haruki Ihara to remove him from the roster.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.