Over the years, Japan's changing political goals, and economic and social circumstances, have all left their imprint on the game that became known as yakyū, or "field ball."
After a single, an error and back-to-back fourth-inning walks put SoftBank ahead 1-0 at PayPay Dome, Fujii slammed the door before Haruki Nishioka sparked a sixth-inning Eagles rally.
Takeda (1-0) allowed just three hits and two walks against the Eagles, who could only manage to scratch out a fourth-inning tying run against him.
Munetaka Murakami's home run hat-trick rescued the Central League-leading Tokyo Yakult Swallows in a 4-2, 11-inning win over the Hanshin Tigers on Sunday. The come-from-behind win at Hanshin's historic Koshien Stadium outside Osaka prevented the Swallows from suffering a three-game sweep. Murakami hit his league-leading 35th ...