Yomiuri Giants 3 - Yakult Swallows 2
For the first time in two start, Tetsuya Utsumi managed to last more than 5 innings without giving up 4 runs (6 IP, 4 H, 2 K, BB, 2 R, ER). Unfortunately for Utsumi, he left the game without a decision and Tetsuya Yamaguchi got the win in relieft. Marc Kroon recorded his 6th save of the year. Shohei Tateyama (6.2 IP, 9 H, 4 K, BB, ER) was in line to get the win when he was taken out of the game in the 7th, but Ryota Igarashi (1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) couldn't hold onto the lead when he came in to pitch the 8th.
Jamie D'Antona went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the second. Aikawa Ryoji also picked up 2 hits (2-for-3) and a run scored. Norichika Aoki went 0-for-4. Hayato Sakamoto (2-for-4, double, 2 RBI) continues to impress at the plate for the Giants, driving in the game-tying and game-winning runs in the 8th off Igarashi (there were runners on first and third). Alex Ramirez went 3-for-4 with a run scored.
The Giants got some help with their game-winning run scoring in the 8th. Had the Swallows gotten the ball back into the infield in an efficient manner, they may have had a chance to hold the Giants to one run in the inning.
Time: 2h 57m
Hiroshima Carp 5 - Yokohama Bay Stars 4
It was a very pretty game in Yokohama. Of the 9 runs that scored, only 4 were actually earned. Kan Ohtake (HIR; 5 IP, 3 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 1 ER) and Hayato Terahara (YOK; 7 IP, 12 H, 5 K, 4 R, 1 ER) got the calls to start the game, neither were involved in the decision. Yuya Ishii, Yokohama closer, suffered his first loss of the season by giving up a solo homer to Masato Akamatsu. Michael Schultz picked up the win in relief with a scoreless 8th and Katsuhiro Nagakawa faced 4 batters in the 9th for his 5th save of the season.
The Carp line-up pounded out 14 hits, including 3 doubles, a triple, and a home run. Akihiro Higashide (3-for-5, 2 R), Akamatsu (3-for-4, 1 R, RBI, triple, home run), and Scott Seabol (3-for-4, double, RBI) did most of the damage; Shigenobu Shima (2-for-4, R, double) and Yoshiyuki Ishihara (2-for-3, double) rounded out the rest of the offense with 2 hits a piece. Shuichi Murata went 0-for-4 in his first game back with the Bay Stars.
Time: 3h 20m
Chunichi Dragons 6 - Hanshin Tigers 2
The Tigers' cotinued their slide, as did Tomoaki Kanemoto (0-for-2, 2 BB). About the only bright spot was Takashi Toritani, who finished the night with 3 hits in 4 at bats. Kazuhiro Wada (2-for-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI) and Kei Nomoto (1-for-3, double, 2 RBI) drove in 2 more runs a piece for the Dragons.
Takuya Asao (7 IP, 4 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) evened out his record to 2-2; Hitoki Iwase recorded faced one batter for his 4th save of the season. Yasutomo Kubo (5 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 4 BB, HBP, 4 R 3 ER) picked up the loss.
Kanemoto and Takahiro Arai are now 0-for-12 with 3 walks and 4 strike outs over the last two games against the Dragons.
Time: 3h 24m
Softbank Hawks 3 - Nippon Ham Fighters 2
D.J. Houlton (7 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) had his third straight outing and picked up his second victory of the season. Takahiro Mahara pitched the 9th for his third save. Tomoya Yagi (6 IP, 5 H, 3 K, BB, HBP, 1 R, 0 ER) started in his first game of the season and left the game with a 2-1 lead. But Yoshinori Tateyama (1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER) couldn't hold onto the lead and gave up 2 runs in the 8th to pick up the loss.
Hiroki Kokubo (2-for-4, home run, R, 2 RBI) drove in the game-tying and game-winning runs of the game with 3rd home run of the season. Yuya Hasegawa went a perfect 3-for-3 with an HBP. Luis Jimenez (1-for-4, home run, R, 2 RBI) drove in both of the Figheters' runs with a 2-run shot in the second.
The Fighters almost tied the game in the bottom of the 8th, but Kensuke Tanaka was thrown out at home plate when he tried to score on a single by Atsunori Inaba. ... Nobuhiko Matsunaka (1-for-4, R) appeared to be ok a game after an HBP on his left wrist.
Time: 3h 4m
Rakuten Eagles 2 - Chiba Lotte Marines 0
Just another day at the office for Masahiro Tanaka: 9 IP, 3 H, 7 K, 3 BB, 0 R. Shunsuke Watanabe (9 IP, 6 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) also went the distance, but ended up taking the loss when he gave up 2 runs in the 7th.
The three hitters to get a hit off Tanaka: Gary Burnham Jr. (1-for-3, BB), Tadahito Iguchi (1-for-4), and Toshiaki Imae (1-for-2). The Rakuten offense wasn't much better, but they did manage come through with 2 runs in the 7th when Motohiro Shima (1-for-2, 2 RBI) hit a 2-run single with runners on second and third with 2 out.
Tanaka has now thrown 3 consecutive complete games victories, 2 of which were shut-outs. ... The first run that crossed the plate for the Eagles got on base via HBP.
Time: 2h 30m
Orix Buffaloes 6 - Seibu Lions 3
Kazuhisa Ishii lasted only an inning, giving up 5 runs (all earned) on 4 hits, 3 strike outs, and 2 walks. Shingo Yamamoto (5 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) got the win for the Buffaloes.
The 5 quick runs the Buffaloes scored in the first included a 3-run homer by Greg LaRocca (1-for-3, home run, R, 3 RBI); all 5 runs scored before the second out of the inning could even be recorded. The Lions got most of their offense from the bottom of their line-up: G.G. Sato (1-for-4, double, R) led off the inning with a double and scored when Toru Hosakawa (2-for-3, double, R, RBI) singled him home. The second run scored when the Lions turned a double play with the bases loaded and no out.
Time: 2h 39m