Yakult Swallows 6 - Yomiuri Giants 2
Michihiro Ogasawara had a big night at the plate for the Giants (3-for-4 with a double, 2 solo homers, 2 runs, and 2 RBI), but it wasn't nearly enough as the Swallows toppled the Giants, 6-2.
Tetsuya Utsumi had a rough outing, lasting only 4.1 innings while giving up 4 runs (all earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks and 2 strike outs. Shohei Tateyama picked up his first win of the season with a solid effort: 7 IP, 5 H, 8 K, 1 HBP, 2 R, 2 ER.
Kenzo Kawashima went 2-for-4 with a 3-run homer in the 5th against Utsumi. Ryoji Aikawa went 0-for-1 with a walk but still managed to drive in 2 runs. Norichika Aoki went 1-for-4 (bunt hit).
Kawashima also almost ended up giving the Giants a chance to get back into the game in the 7th when he rushed to try and turn a double play and dropped the ball instead, allowing the bases to be loaded with only 1 out. But Tateyama bore down and struck out pinch-hitter Edgardo Alfonzo looking and retired Yoshitomo Tani on a fly ball to left.
The Giants had a 6-game winning streak going into tonight's game. ... This was the second time this season that Ogasawara has hit 2 home runs in a game.
Time: 2h 54m
Hanshin Tigers 4 - Chunichi Dragons 3
Yasutomo Kubo's second start of the season ended much better than his first, but just as his first, he left the game without a decision: 6 IP, 3 H, 5 H, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 R, 2 ER. Scott Atchison did, however, get the decision, his first win of the season (2 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 0 R). Kyuji Fujikawa picked up his second save of the season (while giving up a solo homer to Kazuhiro Wada). Takuya Asao suffered the loss for the Dragons (6.2 IP, 9 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 0 K, 4 R, 4 ER).
The top of the Tigers' lineup (2, 3, and 4) did most of the work, going 7-for-12 with a double, a homer, and 4 RBIs. The Dragons picked up 4 hits as a team -- 3 of them were solo shots (Hirokazu Ibata, Masahiko Morino, and Wada).
Time: 2h 38m
Yokohama Bay Stars 2 - Hiroshima Carp 1
It was a tight game from the start that required an extra inning to fully decide. The difference: the Bay Stars went 3-for-6 in the 10th and scored a run when Katsuhiro Nagakawa walked in the game-winning run. Incidentally, the first run the Bay Stars scored came in the 6th when the Carp tried to turn a double play at second and home (they got the runner at second, but a bad throw allowed the run to score at home). Kenta Kurihara went 2-for-3 with a homer for the Carp.
Shun Yamaguchi picked up his 2nd victory of the season in relief (2 IP, 3 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 0 R) and Yuya Ishii recorded his 3rd sve of the season with a perfect 10th. Nagakawa suffered his second loss of the season (1 IP, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 ER).
Bay Stars manager Akihiko Ohya was ejected from the game for a delay of game (over 5 minutes) in order to argue a call made by the home plate ump.
Time: 3h 33m
Nippon Ham Fighters 7 - Orix Buffaloes 1
Masaru Takeda went the distance to pick up his first victory of the season (9 IP, 6 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 1 R, 1 ER). Shinya Nakayama started his first game of the season and took the loss for the Buffaloes (5 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 4 BB, 6 R, 4 ER).
Tuffy Rhodes went 2-for-4 and hit his 5th home run of the season. The bottom of the line-up (6, 7, and 8) figured in most of the scoring for the Fighters, going a combined 5-for-12 with 5 runs and 1 RBI.
Makoto Kaneko couldn't keep his double's streak alive but did manage to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. ... The Fighters pulled off a double steal in the 6th: Hichori Morimoto stole second and Kaneko stole home.
Time: 2h 47m
Chiba Lotte Marines 11 - Rakuten Eagles 7
This game started off a lot closer than it ended; at the end of 5, the Marines held a 3-2 lead over the Eagles. But starting in the 5th, the two teams combined to score 13 runs on 20 hits, including 3 doubles and 3 home runs. The deciding shot came in the 10 off Tadahito Iguchi's bat: a grand slam to break a 7-all tie and catapult the Marines to victory.
Yoshihisa Naruse started in his first game of the season and left a lot to be desired: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 5 R, 4 ER. Satoshi Nagai started for the Eagles but was thrown out in the third after hitting Gary Burnham Jr. in the head (for those wondering, he seemed to be ok in highlight reels I've seen). Shinichiro Koyama (RAK) and Brian Sikorski (LOT) were the pitchers on record.
Iguchi's walk-off grand slam was the second of his career (the first time he did was back in 1999 with the Daiei Hawks).
Chiba Marine Stadium
Time: 4h 25m
Seibu Lions 12 - Softbank Hawks 5
Takeya Nakamura had a big night for the Lions, hitting his 5th and 6th home runs of the season (3-for-5 with 3 runs and 6 RBI). Yasuyuki Kataoka was back in the starting line-up and made the best of his return with a double, a homer, and 2 walks in 6 plate appearances.
Fumiya Nishiguchi got the win for the Lions (5.1 IP, 7 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 5 R, 5 ER) and Masamitsu Hirano picked up his first save of the season with (3 IP, 0 H, 0 K, 1 BB, 0 R). Kenji Ohtonari was saddled with his second loss of the season (4 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 5 R, 5 ER).
Munenori Kawasaki provided most of the offense for the Hawks, going 1-for-4 with a 3-run homer in the 3rd.
Time: 3h 12m