Yomiuri Giants 5 - Chunichi Dragons 4
The game was tied at 2 going into the top of the 9th when the Dragons managed to push 2 runs across the plate for a 4-2 lead. With a sputtering Giants' offense, it appeared as though Dragons had the game won, but the Giants had other plans. Alex Ramirez (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) and Yoshitomo Tani (2-for-4, 2B, R) started off the inning with consecutive singles. That set the stage for the pinch hitter, Yoshiyuki Kamei. He took the first pitch he saw from Hitoki Iwase and launched over the centerfield wall giving the Giants a come-from-behind win.
Masahiro Araki (3-for-4, RBI), Masaaki Koike (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) and Kazuhiro Wada (1-for-4, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI) were responsible for driving in all 4 of the Dragons' runs. Hayato Sakamoto (2-for-2, BB, R) picked up two hits and a run scored for the Giants.
Weiyin Chen (7 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) started the game for the Dragons; Hitoki Iwase (0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER) took the loss. Hisanori Takahashi tossed a solid game (6 IP, 4 H, 5 K, 1 R, 1 ER), but the bullpen almost lost it for him: outside of a perfect 7th by Micheal Nakamura, Tetsuya Yamaguchi gave up a run in his 1.1 innings of work and Kiyoshi Toyoda (who ultimately got the win) gave up 2 runs in his .2 innings of work. Both Yamaguchi and Toyoda have appearances in the double-digits.
Wada's home run in the 9th was his 200th of his career. ... Ramirez' home run was his first in 7 games. ... Kamei hit the game-winning homer using a borrowed bat belonging to Tetsuya Matsumoto. ... Coming into the game, Iwase had pitched in 4 straight games over the last 4 days and had even given up a home run in yesterday's game against the Giants.
Time: 2h 59m
Yokohama Bay Stars - Yakult Swallows
Hanshin Tigers 12 - Hiroshima Carp 1
The Tigers offense exploded for 12 runs on 16 hits (including 3 doubles, 2 triples, and a home run) and 8 walks. Amidst all this offense was an 0-for-4 by Tomoaki Kanemoto's and an 0-for-5 by Shinobu Fukuhara; the rest of the starters all had at least one hit. Takahiro Arai finally broke out of his mini-slump by going 2-for-5 with a walk, double, 2 runs, and 3 RBI; but it was Ikuro Katsuragi's 4-for-6 (2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI) that really powered the offense.
The Carp scored their lone run in the 8th when they strung together 2 consecutive hits: a double by Takuro Ishii (1-for-3, R) and a single by Kazuhiro Uemura (1-for-1, RBI). The Carp did manage to put runners on first and second with 2 out in the third, buy they failed to do anything more.
Fukuhara may not have had a good day at the plate, but he tossed a great game on the mound: 8 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 ER. Fukuhara had struggled in his previous 3 starts. The Carp countered with Masayuki Hasegawa, but unlike his first two starts of the season in which he limited the opposition to a run a game, he gave up 5 runs (all earned) and was knocked out after 3 innings of work (5 H, 5 K, 1 BB) and took the loss.
Fukuhara tossed his 1,000th inning during the game (he was sitting on 998.0 IP prior to the start).
Time: 3h 23m
Chiba Lotte Marines 3 - Seibu Lions 2
Yoshihisa Naruse did much better in his second start of the season, lasting 6.1 innings while giving up 2 runs (both earned) on 4 hits, 5 strike outs, and 2 walks. Tadahiro Ogino pitched the 9th for his second save of the season. Kazuyuki Hoashi was a bit unlucky in his fourth start of the season, giving up 3 unearned runs over 7 innings of work while giving up 5 hits, 2 strike outs, and 3 walks.
Outside of a somewhat sloppy 7th, in which all 5 runs scored, pitchers on either side of the diamond did a pretty good job containing the opposition's offense. And if not for a fielding error by Hiroyuki Nakajima to start the inning, the Lions may have been able to get out of the 7th unscathed. Instead, Saburo Ohmura (1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) drove in the first run with an RBI double; Kazuya Fukuura (0-for-3, BB, R) walked; and after Toshiaki Imae (0-for-4) flew out to center, Ken Shinzato (1-for-1, 3B, 2 RBI) smacked a pinch-hit 2-run triple to right to give the Marines a 3-run lead.
The Lions were able to answer back with 2-runs in their half of the 7th when Hiroshi Hirao (2-for-4, R) and Tomoaki Sato (1-for-3, BB, R) started the inning of with 2 consecutive singles. A sac bunt and strike out later, Yasuyuki Kataoaka (2-for-5, 2 RBI) hit a 2-run single to put the Lions on the board. The next two batters would walk to load the bases, but Takeya Nakamura (1-for-4, 2B) ended the inning when he fouled out to right.
Shinzato's double in the 7th was also his first hit of his pro career.
Time: 3h 05m
Nippon Ham Fighters - Orix Buffaloes
Softbank Hawks 5 - Rakuten Eagles 4
The Eagles carried a 4-0 lead into the 8th and looked to be walking away with a win. But the Hawks had other plans and managed to score four runs off the Eagles' bullpen to tie the score at 4 -- the game would go into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th, after Hideki Asai (1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 ER) retired the first two batters of the inning, the Hawks managed to piece together a mini-rally that started with a single by Nobuhiko Matsunaka (2-for-5, IBB, R, RBI), a walk to Hiroki Kokubo (0-for-5, BB), and then a walk-off, game-winning single to Yuya Hasegawa (3-for-5, BB, 2 2B, R, RBI).
Hisashi Iwakuma (7 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 0 R) tossed a great game but failed to get the win; Asai ultimately took the loss. Nagisa Arakaki (6.2 IP, 13 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) had another bad start but his team mates managed to bail him out. Takahiro Mahara (1 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 0 R) recorded his first win of the season.
The Eagles actually had a chance to score a run in the top of the 11th when they managed to get two runners on with 2 outs, but Norihiro Nakamura (2-for-5, BB) ended the inning when he grounded out to short.
Hidenori Tanoue (2-for-5, 3B, 3 RBI) recorded the game-tying hit in the 8th: a 3-run triple. Teppei Tsuchiya (4-for-6) and Daisuke Kusano (3-for-5, HBP, 2B, RBI) turned in solid numbers for the Eagles.
Time: 4h 39m