The Chunichi Dragons (4-0) beat the Yakult Swallows (2-2), 4-3.
Neither of the starters figured in the decision: Shohei Tateyama started for the Swallows and gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits (1 homer), 2 walks, an HBP, and 4 strike outs; Kenta Asakura tossed 6.1 innings while giving up 3 runs (all earned) on 9 hits, 1 walk, 1 HBP, and 5 strike outs. The two starters that did: Akifumi Takahashi got the win for the Dragons and struck out the two batters he faced; Takehiko Oshimoto gave up the game-winning run in his 1 inning of work.
The middle of the line-up (Aoki, D'Antona, Guiel, and Miyamoto) went 10-for-17 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. The rest of the line-up combined for a 1-for-19. As a team, the Swallows struck out 10 times and left 10 runners on base.
Motonobu Tanishige was taken out of the after running out a foul ball and collapsing on the field in pain -- it seems like it has something to do with his right leg.
Atsushi Fujii 2-for-4, 3 RBI, 1 home run
The team lost, but his 2 doubles and 2 RBIs did give the Tigers a lead early on.
Time: 3h 28m
The Yomiuri Giants (1-2-1) beat the Yokohama Bay Stars (0-4), 5-1.
The Giants finally managed to win a game. And they did it behind their starter, Hisanori Takahashi. The Chunichi Dragons countered with Hayato Terahara, who gave up 5 runs (all earned) on 7 hits, 3 walks, and 5 strike outs.
There wasn't much to be happy about with regards to the Bay Stars line-up, except for perhaps Yuki Yoshimura's 3-for-3 game that included 2 doubles. He scored the lone run for the team. The Giants relied on some timely hitting by Michihiro Ogasawara (1-for-5, 2 RBI) and Alex Ramirez (3-for-5, 2 doubles, 2 RBI).
The 4 straight losses to start the season for the Bay Stars is the worst start they have had in 7 years, when they lost 5 straight. And after being shut out on Saturday and Sunday, they have managed to push only 2 runs across the plate.
Hisanori Takahashi 6 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 R, 1 ER
Pitched well enough to help the team win it's first game of the season.
Time: 3h 47m
The Hanshin Tigers (2-2) edged out the Hiroshima Carp (2-1-1), 11-10.
Katsuhiro Nagakawa recorded the loss for the Carp in relief (he was the 6th pitcher used in the game) and Hirotaka Egusa got the win for the Tigers (he was the 5th pitcher).
The Tigers held a 3-0 lead going into the fourth. The Carp then scored a run in the top of the fourth and managed to tie the game in the top of the 5th. The Tigers tacked on a run in the bottom of the 6th to re-take the lead, only to have the Carp explode for 7 runs in the 7th. But the Tigers didn't let up and chipped away at the Carp's 10-4 lead: they scored 1 in the 7th, 2 in the 8th, and 4 in the 9th to win the game.
5 players in the Tigers' line-up picked up 3 hits a piece: Kevin Mench (3-for-5 with an RBI), Norihiro Akahoshi (3-for-5 with an RBI), Takashi Toritani (3-for-5 with a double and 2 RBIs), and Taichi Okazaki (3-for-3 with an RBI). The Carp more or less relied on Kenta Kurihara's 4-for-4 night, which included 2 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBIs. Scott Seabol (2-for-4, triple) and Takuro Ishii (2-for-4) both contributed 2 RBIs a piece.
Kurihara's home run was the 100th of his career.
Tomoaki Kanemoto 3-for-6, 5 RBI, 2 doubles
He drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th to give the Tigers their second win of the season.
Time: 3h 43m
The Nippon Ham Fighters (1-3) beat the Chiba Lotte Marines (2-2), 9-1.
Kazuhito Tadano recorded the win for the Fighters. Yuki Karakawa took the loss for the Fighters (6.1 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 ER). The game was actually a lot closer when Karakawa was taken out of the game in the 7th -- the two relievers that followed combined to give up 7 runs (all earned) over 1.1 innings of work.
The lone run the Marines were able to score came on a solo shot by Tadahito Iguchi in the second. The Fighters offense heavily relied on lead-off hitter Kensuke Tanaka (2-for-5, 3 RBIs, 2 doubles) and number 9 hitter Makoto Kaneko (2-for-4, 3 RBIs, double). Tomohiro also contributed a run with his solo home run in the 5th (he went 3-for-3).
Tsuyoshi Nishioka wasn't in the starting line-up again. This marks the second straight game he has missed due to tightness in his right thigh. The team appears to be concerned he could aggravate it into a full-blow hamstring injury.
Iguchi's home run was the 150th of his career. He also became the 7th player in NPB history to hit a home run out of every slot in the line-up.
Kazuhito Tadano 8 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 1 ER
He pitched the Ham Fighters to their first victory of the season.
Time: 2h 40m
The Rakuten Eagles (4-0) beat the Softbank Hawks (2-2), 6-0.
Masahiro Tanaka said that he would pitch a complete game, and he did just that against the Hawks. Kameron Loe got the start for the Hawks and was saddled with the loss (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 K, 4 BB, 6 R, 4 ER).
Rick Short was back in the line-up and went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Norihiro Nakamura (1-for-2, 1 RBI, double, 2 walks) and Takeshi Yamasaki (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) provided most of the offense for the Eagles. The one Hawks' player that seemed to give Tanaka trouble was Yuichi Honda -- he went 3-for-3 with an HBP.
Masahiro Tanaka 9 IP, 4 H, 9 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 0 R
He pitched the Eagles to their fourth straight victory to start the season. He gave the game ball to his manager at the end of the game.
Time: 2h 45m
The Seibu Lions (2-2) beat the Orix Buffaloes (1-3), 8-3.
The Lions finally got a very strong performance out of Takayuki Kishi -- he struggled quite a bit during the spring. His 8 innings of work while giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, a walk, and 6 strike outs earned him the win. Chihiro Kaneko took the loss for the Buffaloes (5 IP, 7 H, 4 K, 4 BB, 3 R, 3 ER).
Mitsutaka Goto pushed across the first runs of the game with his 2-run homer in the top of the second off Kishi. That would be all the Buffaloes would score until the 9th when they scored another run on 2 consecutive doubles. 7 of the 9 players in the Lions' starting lineup had an RBI, 4 finished with 2 or more hits.
Ishii's 4 hit performance was the first in 4 years and his second in his career.
Yoshihito Ishii 4-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 home run
His home run in the 4th tied the game at 2.
Time: 3h 19m