Yakult Swallows 1 - Hiroshima Carp 0
Yoshinori Sato (5 IP, 2 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 0 R) was pitching a great game when it was cut short: a blister on his right index finger popped. Not wanting to let his efforts go to waste, the Swallows bullpen bore down and held onto the 1-run lead that was establish in the second inning when Shinya Miyamoto hit his first home run of the season.
Chang-Yong Lim tossed a perfect 9th for his 4th save of the season. Kenta Maeda picked up first loss of the season after winning two straight (7 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 1 ER).
Time: 2h 52m
Hanshin Tigers 9 - Yokohama Bay Stars 4
The middle of the line-up came up big for the Tigers this afternoon: Tomoaki Kanemoto (2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI), Takahiro Arai (1-for-4, BB, HR, 1 R, 2 RBI), and Kentaro Sekimoto (3-for-4, BB, 1 2B, 3 RBI) combined for 7 RBIs. Kevin Mench went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Seiichi Uchikawa (2-for-5, double, 2 RBI) and Hiroaki Ohnishi (1-for-4, double, 2 RBI) drove in all four of the Bay Stars' runs in the 7th.
The Tigers also got a very solid start out of Atsushi Noumi (6 IP, 3 H, 8 K, 4 BB, 0 R); he came into the game with 2 straight losses. Ryan Glynn (5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 K, 4 BB, 4 R, 3 ER) got the start against his former team mates and suffered his third straight losses.
Noumi's last victory came on September 9, 2007.
Time: 4h 2m
Yomiuri Giants 3 - Chunichi Dragons 2
The Dragons held down the Giants' line-up for 6 innings and looked to be walking away with a 2-0 victory when Chen fell apart on the mound and gave up 2 runs in the 7th and the go-ahead run in the 8th. Neither team would score after that, giving the Giants their second straight victory.
Weiyin Chen (8 IP, 8 H, 8 K, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) did a great job of keeping the Giants' offense off-balance for the first 6 innings of the game. But as he began to tire, the Giants began to take advantage. Chen was the losing pitcher on record, giving up all three runs the Giants would need in order to win. The big blow was a tie-breaking solo homer by Takayuki Terauchi in the 8th. Satoshi Fukuda (6 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) tried his best to match Chen's 0 and was doing a pretty decent job until until the 4th, when he gave up an RBI single to Tony Blanco. He would give up one more run in the 6th (solo homer by Masahiko Morino) before being taken out after 6 innings of work. But it was Tetsuya Yamaguchi that ultimately got the win for the Giants (he pitched a perfect 7th); Marc Kroon faced 4 batters for his 4th save of the season.
The home run hit by Terauchi was the first of his pro career.
Time: 2h 56m
Nippon Ham Fighters 6 - Seibu Lions 4
The Lions held a 4-3 lead going into the top of the 8th when the Fighters managed to put 2 runs on the board to take a 5-4. But the Fighters didn't do it alone, they got some help from the Lions pitching staff. With runners on second and third to start the 8th, Tomoki Hoshino entered the game and threw a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score. It also allowed the runner on third to advance to third. That run would later come around to score on a sac fly by Tomochika Tsuoboi. The Fighters would score their final run in the 9th on a fielding error by Takeya Nakamura (3B).
Neither starting pitcher figured in the final decision; Kazuyuki Hoashi (7 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) for the Lions and Shugo Fujii (5 IP, 7 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) started for the Fighters. Keisuke Tanimoto (2 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 R) got the win for the Hawks and Hisashi Takeda recorded his 3rd save of the year with a perfect 9th. Eiji Shotsu took the loss, his first of the year.
Tanimoto's victory was the first of his pro career. ... The Fighters have now won 4 games in a row, marking the second time they have managed to put together such streak. ... Of the 13 games the Fighters have played, they have managed double-digit hit totals 10 times.
Time: 3h 26m
Softbank Hawks 7 - Chiba Lotte Marines 4
After losing a game in extra innings to the Marines last night, the Hawks made sure their game this afternoon wouldn't end up being a repeat by scoring three runs in the top of the 9th to break a 4-4 tie. But the Hawks didn't do it alone, they had help from the Marines -- after Yoshihiro Ito struck out the first batter of the inning, he walked the next batter on four straight pitches. His replacement, Yusuke Kawasaki, didn't do much better: he walked the first batter he faced on four straight pitches. Kawasaki got Nobuhiko Matsunaka to ground out to second, but then gave up a 2-run single to Hiroki Kokubo, and an RBI double to Yuya Hasegawa. Taiki Nakago came in after that and loaded the bases before striking out the last two batters he faced.
Yuki Kume (3 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 4 BB, 0 R) got the win in relief for the Hawks; Takahiro Mahara recorded his 2nd save of the season. Yoshihiro Ito (1.2 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 1R, 1 ER) was saddled with the loss.
Hasegawa had a big night for the Hawks, missing a cycle by a home run: 4-for-5, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 R, 4 RBI. Hidenori Tanoue went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Tadahito Iguchi did most of the damage for the Marines: 2-for-3, 2 BB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Saburo Ohmura (1-for-3, 1 BB, 2 R) also hit a home run, his first of season.
The Softbank Hawks were on a 3-game losing streak prior to beating the Marines. ... Nagisa Arakaki (4 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) started, and appeared, in his first game of the season.
Chiba Marine Stadium
Time: 3h 30m
Rakuten Eagles 7 - Orix Buffaloes 0
Hisashi Iwakuma (8 IP, 3 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 0 R) and Marcus Gwyn (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 R) combined for a 4-hit shut out. Iwakuma recorded 19 ground ball outs in the game, the rest came on strike outs. Kazuki Kondo was on the losing end, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, 4 walks, and 2 strike outs over 7.1 innings of work.
Daisuke Kusano (3-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) and Naoto Watanabe (1-for-3, 2 BB, 1 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI) drove in two runs a piece for the Eagles. Alex Cabrera went 2-for-4 and accounted for half of the hits the Buffaloes recorded. Tuffy Rhodes (0-for-4) struck out 3 times.
Kondo was riding a personal 7-game winning streak, dating back to last season.
Time: 2h 44m