Yakult Swallows 8 - Hiroshima Carp 2
The Swallows beat the Carp 8-2 to extend their winning streak to four. Ryo Kawashima (6 IP, 4 H, 6 K, 3 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) picked up his second win of the season and Junpei Shinoda (5 IP, 6 H, 8 K, 1 BB, 5 R, 5 ER) suffered his first loss.
Kenzo Kawashima had a big night for the Swallows, missing out on a cycle by a double (3-for-4, 3B, HR, R, 4 RBI); Kazuki Fukuchi (2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 3 R), Yasushi Iihara (2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI), and Shinichi Takeuchi (2-for-2, RBI) all picked up 2 hits a piece. Aoki went 0-for-3 with a sac fly, RBI, and 3 strike outs. The Carp scored their two runs on home runs by Soichiro Amaya (1-for-2, 2 BB, HR, 1 R, 1 RBI) and Yoshiyuki Ishihara (1-for-4, HR 1 R, 1 RBI) that came in the 6th inning.
Time: 2h 55m
Yokohama Bay Stars 4 - Hanshin Tigers 2
The Bay Stars finally got their 5th win in doing the Tigers, 5-2. Lead-off hitter Takehiro Ishikawa (1-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI) hit a key triple in the bottom of the 6th that plated 2 runs and gave the Bay Stars all the runs they would need in order to win. Seiichi Uchikawa (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI) and Dan Johnson (2-for-3, BB, 2 2B, 1 R) collected 2 hits each. While Tomoaki Kanemoto (0-for-2, 2 BB) was held hitless in four trips to the plate, Takashi Toritani went 3-for-4 with a solo homer in the 8th.
Futoshi Kobayashi (6 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 4 BB, 1 R, 1 ER) picked up his first win of the year and Yuya Ishii faced four batters to record his 4th save. Shinobu Fukuhara (5.1 IP, 10 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 4 R, 4 ER) had a pretty awful game and was saddled with his second loss of the season.
Kanemoto's hitting streak ended at 13.
Time: 3h 20m
Yomiuri Giants 6 - Chunichi Dragons 5
The Giants swept the Tigers behind some solid relief work by the bullpen. Hisanori Takahashi (3 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 4 R, 3 ER) started the game for the Giants but couldn't pitch effectively, erasing a 4-run lead the Giants gifted him in the first. Fortunately the Giants' bullpen and offense were up to the task and managed to scratch the team back to victory.
Propelling the offense was Hayato Sakamoto's 3-for-5 night, which included an RBI single in the first and a go-ahead RBI single in the 5th (as well as a double in the 7th that didn't lead to anything). The 5th also featured a game tying RBI triple by Shinnosuke Abe (1-for-4, 3B, 1 R, 2 RBI). Tony Blanco (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) and Kazuhiro Wada (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) went back-to-back in the 3rd to drive in 3 runs.
Ken Nishimura (1 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 1 R, 1 ER) ultimately got the win for the Giants in relief; Marc Kroon pitched a perfect 9th for his 5th save. Maximo Nelson (4 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) couldn't hold onto a 4-4 tie in relief and took the loss.
The Giants swept the Dragons for the first time in four years.
Time: 3h 30m
Nippon Ham Fighters 8 - Seibu Lions 6
The Ham Fighters swept the Lions in fashion by coming from behind in the top of the 9th with 3 runs to take the game. Chikara Onodera (1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER), closing in place of the injured Alex Graman, gave up the lead and took the loss. Naoki Miyanishi (1 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 0 R) recorded his first win of the season in relief and Hisashi Takeda got his 4th save of the season with a perfect 9th.
The Lions got on the board first with a 3-run first that began with Brian Sweeney walking the first two batters he face. The Lions had another 3-run inning in the 5th that started with 2 straight hits. In both innings Hiroyuku Nakajima (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI) and Takeya Nakamura (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) provided the key hits to get the Lions on the board. 6 of the 9 starters in the line-up for the Fighters had at least 2 hits; within that group, Makoto Kaneko went 3-for-5 with 3 doubles, a run scored, and an RBI -- it was his double in the 9th gave the Fighters a 1-run lead.
The Fighters' 9 doubles in the game tied a league high.
Time: 4h 2m
Softbank Hawks 12 - Chiba Lotte Marines 5
Despite having a shaky start, Toshiya Sugiuchi (6 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 5 R, 3 ER) picked up his second victory of the season. Hiroyuki Kobayashi (5 IP, 7 H, 1 K, 5 BB, 7 R, 7 ER) suffered his third straight sub-par outing and picked up his second loss of the season.
The Hawks banged out 12 hits (including a double, triple, and home run) as a team. The 4, 5, 6, and 7 hitters did most of that damage: Hiroki Kokubo (3-for-5, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI), Yuya Hasegawa (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI), Hidenori Tanoue (2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI), and Hiroshi Shibahara (3-for-5, 3B, 1 R, 2 RBI). Benny Agbayani (2-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI) and Naotaka Takehara (1-for-3, 2 RBI) provided the offense for the Marines.
Bobby Valentine was thrown out of the in the third for using harsh language -- it was the first time he was thrown out of a game in Japan. Bobby was arguing a play that saw Hiroku Kokubo drop a ball thrown by the short stop. The ump ruled that the ball was dropped after the out was recorded while Bobby felt that the ball was dropped before the out.
Chiba Marine Stadium
Time: 3h 22m
Orix Buffaloes 15 - Rakuten Eagles 0
When the Eagles signed Darrell Rasner, they were probably expecting someone a little more consistent -- Rasner has been anything but that over his first three starts (he gave up 6 runs in his first start and 1 run in his second start). In his start against the Buffaloes, Rasner gave up 8 runs (all earned) on 7 hits, 3 strike outs, 1 walk, and 1 HBP over 3.1 innings of work. On the other side of the diamond, Mamoru Kishida got the start for the Buffaloes and tossed a complete game shut-out for his second victory of the year.
While the Eagles did scatter 8 hits over 9 innings, they simply could not get that one hit to put them over the top -- they started the game off with a lead-off double but the runner was picked off, and in both the 7th and 8th innings they managed consecutive hits but came up empty. And on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, the Buffaloes banged out 16 hits, including 4 home runs, two of which were hit by Tuffy Rhodes (3-for-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI). The other two were hit by Jose Fernandez (4-for-4, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI) and Alex Cabrera (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI). Takeshi Hidaka went 1-for-4 with a run scored and 4 RBI.
It was Hidaka's first complete game shut-out of his career. He also only needed 109 pitches.
Time: 2h 54m