Yomiuri Giants 6 - Yakult Swallows 2
Seth Greisinger started his third game for the Giants and won his second straight: 7 IP, 10 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER. Masao Kida started for the Swallows and had a pretty awful game -- 5 runs (all earned) on 7 hits, 5 walks, 1 HBP, and 4 strike outs.
Shinnosuke Abe finished the night 3-for-3 with a walk, double, run scored, and RBI. Takahiro Suzuki (2-for-5 with 1 run and 2 RBI) and Yoshiyuki Kamei (2-for-4 with a walk, a run and 1 RBI) were the two other Giants with multiple hits. Norichika Aoki, Jamie D'Antona, and Aaron Guiel combined to go 1-for-13 with 2 RBIs and 4 strike outs.
A victory against the Giants would have given Kida wins against 12 different ball clubs.
Time: 3h 5m
Chunichi Dragons 9 - Hanshin Tigers 2
Kenta Asakura took the win and gave up 2 runs on 6 hits, 1 walk and struck out 5 over 6 innings of work. Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi got the loss and a pretty rough outing, giving up 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 HBP, and 3 strikes outs over 6.1 innings of work.
Masahiko Morino (1-for-4 with a walk, a triple, a strike out, 2 runs and 3 RBI) and Kazuhiro Wada (3-for-5 with a home run, 1 run, 3 RBI) powered the Dragons offense. Norihiro Akahoshi was back in the line-up for the Tigers and went 2-for-4 with a double, a strike out, and 1 run scored. Keisuke Kano went 3-for-4; Kevin Mench with 0-for-4 with 2 strike outs.
With the score tied at 2 in the 7th and runners on first and third with 1 out, Tomoaki Kanemoto made a bad play out in left that cost the team a big run; it also kicked off a 5-run inning.
Time: 3h 27m
Hiroshima Carp 3 - Yokohama Bay Stars 2
Tom Mastny's first start of the season wasn't awful, but could have ended up a lot better. He tossed 6 innings while giving up 3 runs (all earned) on 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 HBP, and 3 strike outs; he also threw a wild pitch in the 5th that helped set the tables for the Carp. Tomohiro Umetsu (the second reliever of the game) got the win for the Carp with a perfect 6th and Katsuhiro Nagakawa picked up his 4th save of the season.
The Carp only managed 3 hits, but still managed to score 3 runs over 9 innings. Meanwhile, the Bay Stars racked up 7 hits but couldn't push more than 2 runs across the plate.
Time: 2h 48m
Nippon Ham Fighters 11 - Orix Buffaloes 5
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decisions: the Fighter's third pitcher, Kazumasa Kikuchi (.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 ER), got the win and the Buffaloes' second pitcher, Kazuya Motoyanagi (0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 R, 3 ER), was saddled with the loss.
Eiichi Koyano (4-for-4, with a home run, 2 runs, and 4 RBI) and Makoto Kaneko (2-for-4 with a strike out, a double, 1 run, and 3 RBI) provided most of the punch for the Fighters. Kensuke Tanaka went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored. Alex Cabrera (1-for-5) hit his 3 home run of the season for the Buffaloes; Tuffy Rhodes went a perfect 3-for-3 with 2 walk, 1 run, and 1 RBI.
The victory was the first for the Fighters in 5 tries at home this season. Makoto Kaneko has now hit a double in 7 straight games, setting a new NPB record. The Buffaloes were riding a 4-game winning streak coming into the game.
Time: 3h 38m
Chiba Lotte Marines 7 - Rakuten Eagles 1
The Marines finally got some crisp pitching and timely hitting out of the team: Yuki Karakawa held the Eagles to a run (earned) over 7 innings while scattering 8 hits, a walk, and 6 strike outs. Hideki Asai took the loss for the Eagles (4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 5 R, 4 ER).
As a team, the Marines went 11-for-37 with 4 doubles and 2 triples. Tadahito Iguchi went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, 1 R, and 2 RBI. 3 other hitters in the line-up picked up 2 hits a piece. The Eagles managed 9 hits as a team, but failed to take advantage of key scoring opportunities in the first and third. While they actually did manage to score a run in the third, they should have been able to do more damage; with 1 run in and runners on first and second, both Norihiro Nakamura and Daisuke Kusano struck out to end the inning.
Chiba Marine Stadium
Time: 3h 7m
Seibu Lions 2 - Softbank Hawks 2
Starting pitcher on either team did their job by keeping their teams in the game. Kazuhisa Ishii: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 6 K, 4 BB, 2 R, 1 ER. D.J. Houlton: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 6 K, 4 BB, 2 R, 2 ER. The bullpens did the same. Lions: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 3 K, 7 BB, 0 R. Hawks: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 6 K, 3 BB, 0 R.
Hawks had 6 hits as a team, 4 of them were by the first two hitters in the line-up: Yuichi Honda (2-for-5 with a walk) and Munenori Kawasaki (2-for-4 with 2 walks and 1 RBI). Both Nobuhiko Matsunaka (0-for-4) and Hiroki Kokubo (0-for-5) were held hitless. Hiroyuki Nakajima (1-for-4) drove in 1 of the two runs the Lions scored when he walked with the bases loaded in the third. Two Lions (Takumi Kuriyama and G.G. Sato) ended their nights with 3 strike outs.
Time: 4h 50m