HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 19 (acn) The good performance of Cuban relievers Livan Moinelo and Raidel Martinez was key in the victory of their respective teams at the start of the 2020 Japanese Professional Baseball League (NPB).
Lefty setuper Moinelo pitched a scoreless inning allowing only a double, with three strikeouts, in the 10-inning 2-1 home win of his club, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, over the Chiba Lotte Marines, in the Pacific League.
Meanwhile, right-hander reliever Martinez only surrendered a hit in a frame in the 9-7 away victory of his team, the Chunichi Dragons, over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, in the Central League, thus earnig his first hold of the season, just like Moinelo.
On this inaugural date, there was also a praiseworthy performance by other Cuban players who play in the NPB, but without contracts endorsed by the Cuban National Baseball Federation.
1B and clean-up hitter Dayan Viciedo was the best hitter in the Dragons' win when batting 3 for 5, including a 2-run homer and two runs scored and a walk.
Finally, CF Leonys Martin, who batted fifth, hit 1 for 3 with a walk, but his contribution did not prevent the loss of the Lotte Marines.
The sluggersAlfredo Despaigne and Yurisbel Gracial are still in Cuba awaiting for their departure for Japan to join the squad of the SoftBank Hawks, current NPB champions.