Yomiuri Giants 6 - Hanshin Tigers 6
Hisanori Takahashi (1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) was removed in the second after he was hit in the left elbow by a batted ball. Kroon blew a save opportunity when he surrendered an unearned run in the top of the 9th. Shinobu Fukuhara made the start for the Tigers and gave up 3 runs (all earned) over 5 innings of work (6 H, 3 K, 1 BB). Scott Atchison came in after that and was also touched for 3 runs (1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER).
The Giants got most of their production out of the 6 and 7 holes (Seung-Yeop Lee and Shinnosuke Abe, respectively) in the line-up on Sunday afternoon. They combined to go 5-for-9 with 2 home runs, 2 runs, and 4 RBIs. The big hitters for the Tigers ended up being Kodai Sakurai (2-for-3, 3 walks, 1 triple, a homer, 1 run, 4 RBI) and Takahiro Arai (3-for-6, a homer, 1 run, 2 RBI). Tomoaki Kanemoto finally appeared to be cooling off a bit -- he went 1-for-6.
Time: 4h 37m
Yokohama Bay Stars 5 - Yakult Swallows 3
Ryo Kawashima (4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) started his second game of the season and took the loss for the Swallows. The starter for the Bay Stars, Futuoshi Kobayashi, struggled and ended up throwing 97 through 4.2 innings (6 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) of work. The third relief pitcher of the game, Shun Yamaguchi (2 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 HPB, 0 R), ended up with the victory for the Dragons. Yuya Ishii faced 4 batters in the 9th for his first save of the season.
Jamie D'Antona was held hitless (0-for-3) in his second straight game since returning to the line-up. Aaron Guiel went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, 2 runs, and an RBI. Seiichi Uchikawa picked up 3 hits, including a double, and scored a run in four trips to the plate for the Bay Stars. Yuta Naito went 1-for-2 and scored the first run of the game with a solo homer in the second. Yuki Yoshimura (1-for-4, a run scored, 2 RBI) drove in the important 4th run in the bottom of the fifth on a double to right.
D'Antona also a base-running snafu in the 5th: with Aoki on second and D'Antona and 2 out, catcher Toshihiro Noguchi dropped the ball and D'Antona saw that as an opportunity to advance. Unfortunately, the ball didn't roll very far away from Noguchi and Aoki also quickly re-treated to second, only to find that D'Antona was already standing there. Aoki tried to rush over to third, but it was too late.
Naito's homer was the first of his career.
Time: 3h 13m
Hiroshima Carp 10 - Chunichi Dragons 0
2 games, 2 back-to-back CG shut-outs. This time, it was Junpei Shinoda: 9 IP, 4 H, 7 K, 0 R. And he managed it in 99 pitches. Starting for the Dragons was 44-year-old Masahiro Yamamoto -- he gave up all 10 runs (9 earned) the Carp scored in his 4 innings of work (10 H, 4 BB, 3 K); he took the loss.
The Dragons' offense didn't really threaten much, other than in the ninth when Masahiko Morino stepped up to bat in the 9th with runners on first and second. On the second pitch from Shinoda, Morino hit a liner to first. Kenta Kurihara made a leaping catch for the first out and got a second out when the runner couldn't make it back to first in time.
The top 4 hitters in the Carp line-up each collected 2 hits with the top 3 scoring 2 runs a piece. Eishin Soyogi went 3-for-4 with a double and 4 RBIs. Incidentally, the Carp scored all 10 of their runs in the third and fourth innings of the game -- 5 in the 3rd and 5 in the 4th.
The CG shutout was Shinoda's first of his career.
Time: 2h 46m
Rakuten Eagles 4 - Seibu Lions 1
The Rakuten Eagles managed to stop their losing streak at 2 behind a very solid outing by Darrell Rasner. He went the distance and gave up a lone run (earned) on 3 hits (including a solo home run) and 8 strike outs. John Wasdin (5.1 IP, 9 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 0 ER) had a somewhat shaky outing and took the loss.
After struggling a bit as the lead-off hitter, Rick Short managed to pick up 2 hits and an RBI in four trips to the plate, in his second start after being dropped to the number 7 hole. Daisuke Kusano finished a perfect 4-for-4 with a run scored. Takeya Nakamura (1-for-3) drove in the lone Lions run when he hit his 4th home run of the season in the second inning.
7,000 fans lined up before the game on Sunday afternoon to get a Katsuya Nomura figure.
Time: 2h 40m
Orix Buffaloes 4 - Chiba Lotte Marines 1
The Buffaloes got solid 7-inning start out of Mamoru Kishida to pick up a 4-1 win against the Marines. He struck out 12 batters while giving up an earned run on 6 hits (including a solo shot by Saburo Ohmura) and a walk. Daisuke Kato tossed another perfect 9th for his 3rd save of the season. Shingo Ono had another short outing for the Marines, lasting only 4.1 innings; he gave up 3 runs (all earned) on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strike outs and took the loss.
Mitsutaka Goto broke a 1-1 tie in the 5th with his 2nd home run (solo) of the season. The struggling Jose Fernandez went 1-for-2; his one hit a solo homer in the 6th. Tadahito Iguchi sandwiched two strike outs in between a double and a single for the Marines.
The Marines have now lost 5 straight.
Time: 3h 11m
Softbank Hawks 5 - Nippon Ham Fighters 4
Brian Sweeney (6 IP, 12 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 5 R, 5 ER) was responsible for all 5 runs the Hawks scored and took the loss. Toshiya Sugiuchi tossed 7 innings and gave up 3 runs (all earned) on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 2 strike outs; he recorded the win for the Hawks. Takahiro Mahara made things interesting in the 9th by giving up a run, but he closed the door after to earn his first save of the season.
Terrmel Sledge (2-for-4 with 2 RBI) and Shinji Takahashi (1-for-4 with 1 RBI) both homered for the Fighters. Atsunori Inaba picked up 2 hits and scored a run. While the Hawks didn't hit any long balls in the game, 8 of the 9 starters had at least one hit; 4 had 2 hits. Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-3) drove in what ended up being a key 5th run in the bottom of the 6th.
Time: 2h 45m