Masahiro Tanaka had another rough outing but managed to keep his team in the game during the 9 frames he tossed. Tanaka cruised through the first three innings, striking out 4 of the 10 batters he faced (he also gave up a single). But things quickly fell apart for Tanaka in the fourth. After giving up a double to Arihito Muramatsu and retiring the next two batters, he gave up a 2-run shot to Chad Allen. He managed to retire the following batter, but the Buffaloes' offense still had momentum going into the top of the fifth. Lead-off batter Kuniyuki Motoki drilled a double to left and would later score on a single to center. Things could have easily gotten worse, but Tanaka managed to get out of the inning by striking out Hirotoshi Kitagawa with runners on first and second. For the rest of the game, Tanaka kept the Buffaloes in check, striking out 3 and walking 2 while giving up no runs on 2 hits over 4 innings of work.
Fortunately for Tanaka, the Eagles were able to tie the game in the bottom of the 6th with help from a fielding error by second baseman Mitsutaka Goto, that would ultimately lead to 2 unearned runs. The Eagles scored the game winning run in the bottom of the 10th on a clean single to right with 1 out by Koichi Isobe, that after a double by Motohiro Shima (who was then lifted for a pinch runner), a successful sac bunt by Yosuke Takasu to move the runner to third, and then an intentional walk to Daisuke Kusano.
Final score: Rakuten 4 - Buffaloes 3
FINAL LINESCORE VS ORIX BUFFALOES IP BF P H HR SO BB HB ER R 9.0 36 131 8 1 10 2 0 3 3 SEASON TOTALS ERA G CG ShO W L IP H HR SO BB HBP R ER WP BF 3.93 25 2 1 10 5 167.0 167 16 169 59 7 75 71 10 706