Yomiuri Giants 2 - Yakult Swallows 1
Shun Tono has done well since becoming a starter this season and didn't disappoint in his fourth start of the year: 7 IP, 4 H, 9 K, 3 BB, 0 R. But due to solid pitching by the Swallows' Masanori Ishikawa (8 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 1 R, 1 ER), Tono didn't figure in the final decision (and neither did Ishikawa). Daisuke Tetsuya (1 IP, 1 K, 0 R) picked up the win for the Giants and Takehiko Oshimoto (.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 ER) suffered his second loss of the season when he gave up the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th.
The Swallows scattered 6 hits over 9 innings and were only fortunate enough to bunch a single by Shinichi Takeuchi and a run-scoring double by Norichika Aoki in the 8th for their first run of the game. They did manage to get 2 runners on base in the 2nd as well (via double and a walk), but failed to do any damage (the three outs in the inning came on strike outs). The Giants also collected 6 hits in the game but managed to bunch them together a little more: single by Alex Ramirez and an RBI double by Yoshitomo Tani in the 4th; a walk to Michiro Ogasawara followed by a fly-out and then consecutive singles by Tani and Shinnosuke Abe resulted in the game-winning run crossing the plate in the 9th.
Time: 3h 09m
Hiroshima Carp 2 - Yokohama Bay Stars 0
Despite having a shaky start, Les Walrond (6 IP, 6 H, 8 K, 4 BB, 1 R, 1 ER) still managed to keep his team in the game. Unfortunately for Walrond, three Carp pitchers combined for a 2-hit shut out: Yuki Saito (W, 7 IP, 1 H, 5 K, 0 R), Ryuji Yokoyama (1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 0 R), and Katsuhiro Nagakawa (Sv, 1 IP, 1 K, 0 R).
Seiichi Uchikawa (1-for-3) and Kazuya Fujita (1-for-3) were the only hitters to get on base for the Bay Stars. The Carp scored two runs in the game but could have scored more. In the top of the 5th Akihiro Higashide (1-for-4, BB) led off the inning with a walk but was picked off at first. The next batter Masato Akamatsu (1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R) then followed with a single and scored on Soichiro Amaya's (1-for-4, double, RBI) double.
Kenta Kurihara left the game in the after his 3rd at bat in the game due to tightness in his lower back. ... Shuichi Murata, in his second game since returning from a hamstring injury, ended the game 0-for-3 with a strike out.
Time: 2h 43m
Hanshin Tigers 4 - Chunichi Dragons 1
After being held to 3 runs over 29 innings, the Tigers finally broke through in the 12th with a big 3-run home run by Takashi Toritani. And while a win is a win, Tomoaki Kanemoto (1-for-5, BB, double) and Takahiro Arai (0-for-5) continued to struggle (but then thew whole line-up has been struggling). Shinjiro Hiyama's (1-for-1, home run, 1 R, 1 RBI) solo home run in the 8th put the Tigers on the board and tied the game at 1.
The Dragons could have had a bigger 5th, but that possbility quickly faded when Hirokazu Ibata (2-for-4, 2 BB) was thrown out at home for the second out of the inning. The Dragons also had a number of other opportunities to score runs, like in the second when they got two consecutive singles after 1 out and then loaded the bases with 2 out; or the 2 consecutive singles they put up in the 9th with 2 out; or even in the 11th when they managed to get 2 runners on base with 2 out.
Yuya Ando (7 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 1 R, 0 ER) started the game for the Tigers, but Kyuji Fujikawa (2 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 0 R) ultimately picked up the win for the Tigers. Kazuki Yoshimi (8 IP, 3 H, 10 K, 3 BB, 1 R, 1 ER) got the ball for the Dragons while Maximo Nelson (.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER) picked up the loss in extra inning.
Hiyama's home run was his 13th pinch-hit home run of his career.
Time: 4h 35m
Nippon Ham Fighters 7 - Softbank Hawks 6
After losing the first two games of the series against the Hawks, the Ham Fighters pulled out all the stops to take the win in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off home run by Terrmel Sledge (2-for-3, double, home run, 2 R, RBI).
The Fighters actually looked as if they had the game under control when they entered the top of the 5th with a 4-2 lead. But the Hawks managed to score 3 runs to re-take the lead (they held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the 4th) -- the big blow was a 2-run double off the bat of Hiroki Kokubo (1-for-3, double, 2 RBI). The Hawks would tack on another run in the 6th for a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the 7th. But three walks, with a fly out sandwiched in between the second and third walk, to start the inning pretty much set up the Hawks for a major fall: Tomochika Tsuboi (1-for-1, 2 RBI) followed with hit a 2-run single and tied the game at 6. And that set-up the walk-off slam by Sledge in the 9th.
Kenji Ohtonari suffered his second bad outing, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits, 4 strike outs, and 4 walks. Due to the lead changes, he was off the hook for the loss. Tadashi Settsu took the loss when he surrendered a home run to Sledge in the 9th and made a winner out of Naoki Miyanishi. Masaru Takeda followed a complete game victory against the Buffaloes on the 16th with a stinker: 6.2 IP, 11 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 6 R, 6 ER.
Time: 3h 42m
Chiba Lotte Marines 5 - Rakuten Eagles 2
Kohei Hasebe continues to struggle on the mound, this time giving up 5 runs (all earned) over 5.2 innings of work (12 H, 0 K, 3 BB). Shingo Ono tossed 8 strong innings for the Marines, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 strike outs. Tadahiro Ogino recorded a save.
Hasebe surrendered 10 hits and 2 walks through the first 5 innings and somehow managed to keep the Marines to 2 runs. And it would seem as if Hasebe would someone get out of the 6th unscathed: Toshiaki Imae (3-for-5, 1 RBI) singled to lead-off the inning but Hasebe retired the next two batters on ground outs. And there's where his luck ended. He walked the next batter and then surrendered a 2-run double to Tadahito Iguchi (3-for-5, double, 2 R, 2 RBI). Hasebe left the game after that, but the damage was already done.
The Eagles scored their 2 runs on a 2-run homer by Takeshi Yamasaki (1-for-3, home run, R, 2 RBI) in the second; lead-off man Naoto Watanabe finished the night 3-for-4.
Time: 3h 4m
Orix Buffaloes 2 - Seibu Lions 1
The Buffaloes won their second staight game against the Lions behind a strong performance by their pitching staff: four pitchers combined for 9 IP, 4 H, 8 K, 4 BB, 1 R, 1 ER. Daisuke Kato, the fourth pitcher of the game, picked up his first win of the season. The Lions' staff also did their job (three pitchers combined for 9 IP, 8 H, 2 K, 4 BB, 1 R, 1 ER), but they still ended up with the loss (Koji Ohnuma).
The middle of the line-up for the Buffaloes wasn't very active tonight, doing all it's damage for the night in the first on a bases loaded walk. The difference came off the bat of the number 8 hitter, Takeshi Hidaka (2-for-4, double, home run, 1 R, 1 RBI), in the bottom of the 9th when he hit his first home run of the season.
G.G. Sato (2-for-4, home run, R, RBI) drove in the lone run for the Lions with a solo home in the 7th. ... Hidaka's game winning home run was the first walk-off of his career. ... The Buffaloes executed a 5-4-3 triple play in the 4th. ... Alex Cabrera took a batted foul ball of his right leg while standing at third in the 6th inning and was later diagnosed with a fractured right pinky toe.
Time: 2h 41m