Chunichi Dragons 8 - Yomiuri Giants 0
After giving the Giants 3 consecutive quality starts, Seth Greisinger faltered: 5 IP, 9 H, 1 K, 4 R, 4 ER. Yudai Kawai started his first game of the season and tossed 5 shut-out innings (5 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 0 ER).
The Dragons banged out 16 hits, including 6 doubles and a home run -- every starter in the line-up recorded at least one hit. Atsushi Fujii (3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI) led the hit parade with 3 hits; Masahiro Araki (2-for-6, 2 RBI) and Tony Blanco (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) collected 2 RBIs a piece.
Not much going on for the Giants, other Hayato Sakamoto going 3-for-4. The combo of Michihiro Ogasawara and Alex Ramirez went 1-for-7 with a walk and 2 K.
The Giants were shut out for the first time this season.
Time: 3h 27m
Yokohama Bay Stars 6 - Yakult Swallows 2
The Swallows have fallen further down the spiral, losing their 5th straight game. After a dominant start against the Hiroshima on the 18th, Yoshinori Sato appeared to have nothing against the Bay Stars: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 3 R, 3 ER. To add insult to injury, his replacement, Kenichi Matsuoka, didn't fair much better: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 3 R, 3 ER. Ryan Glynn (5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 2 ER, 2 R) finally won his first game of the season after losing 3 straight, but not in quite convincing style.
The Swallows offense continues to struggle as a whole and only managed to pick up 2 runs on 6 hits, 5 walks, and an HBP. The Swallows left the bases loaded in the first; managed to score a run in the third on a double, single, and sac fly (in that order); left runners on first and second in the 4th; and scored their second and final run in the 6th on two singles and an HBP.
The Bay Stars scored all their runs in the first two innings and pretty much coasted after that (of the 8 hits they recorded, only 3 came after the second inning). The first inning was especially brutal: Sato retired the first two batters in order and then proceed to walk, HBP, and walk the next three batters. With the bases loaded and two out, he served up a 156 km/hr, 3-1 fastball right down the middle of the plate to Yuki Yoshimura (2-for-4, 2 RBI), who lined it to right for a 2-run single. Two more walks pushed another run across the plate and the inning finally ended when Sato struck out the 9th batter of the inning, Glynn.
Time: 3h 6m
Hiroshima Carp 2 - Hanshin Tigers 1
After a blow-out loss yesterday, the Carp regrouped and managed to hold the Tigers' offense to 6 hits and 1 run.
The Tigers held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the 7th. After Takuro Ishii lined out to first to start the inning, the next two batters walked, setting the tables for pinch-hitter Go Kida. A timely balk by Scott Atchison pushed the runners over to second and third with only one out. Kida then served Atchison's 6th pitch, and slider up and in, into right field for a game-winning 2-run single.
Junpei Shinoda, coming off a 5 IP, 5 ER game, got the ball for the Carp and won his second game of the season by going 7 innings while giving up a run (earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks. Katsuhiro Nagakawa faced 5 batters and recorded his 7th save of the year. Kai-Wen Cheng got his first start for the Tigers and gave the team a glimpse of what might be in store for his future starts: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 0 ER. Atchison took the loss in relief, giving up 2 runs on a hit and 2 walks in .1 innings of work.
Tomoaki Kanemoto went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... The Carp hit 2 doubles in the game; neither resulted in a run.
Time: 2h 56m
Chiba Lotte Marines 11 - Seibu Lions 5
Yuta Ohmine (7 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 2 HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) started the game for the Marines and held the Lions to 7 hits and 2 runs over 7 innings of work; he recorded his first win of the season. John Wasdin (4 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) got the call for the Lions and couldn't get past the 4th inning; he is now 0-2 on the season. Eiji Shoetsu (1 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 R, 5 ER) really let the game get away from the Lions when he entered the 8th and gave up 5 runs to the Marines.
The middle of the line-up for the Marines did most of the damage against the Lions: Saburo Ohmura (2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI), Tasuku Hashimoto (2-for-5, R, 2 RBI), and Benny Agbayani (1-for-3, 2 BB, 3B, R, 2 RBI) drove in 7 of the 11 runs the Marines scored. Gary Burnham Jr., the number 2 hitter, went 2-for-3 with 2 walks, a double, 3 runs, and 2 RBI.
The Lions offense was able to collect 10 hits through 9 innings of play, but it wasn't until the 6th that they were able to bunch them together to score some runs (four hits through the first 5 innings, 6 hits through the last 4). Hiroyuki Nakajima went 3-for-4 with a walk a double, 3 runs, and an RBI. Takeya Nakamura (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) hit his 8th home run of the year in the 8th.
The Lions have now dropped their third consecutive series.
Time: 3h 35m
Orix Buffaloes 11 - Nippon Ham Fighters 3
The Buffaloes made quick work of the Fighters, attacking with a 15-hit, 11-run attack. And they did it all in under 3 hours.
Tuffy Rhodes (3-for-5, 3 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI) smacked 3 home runs in the game and provided most of the punch of the Buffaloes' offense. Takeshi Hidaka added 2 RBIs of his own (2-for-4, double, 3 RBI). All told, 6 players in the starting line-up had 2 or more hits; two of them had 3.
The Fighters had a hard time getting their offense to click -- the Buffaloes retired the first 15 batters in a row. They finally got on the board in the 6th when they began the inning with 3 hits: a single by Yoshio Itoi (1-for-3, R), a double by Shota Ohno (1-for-3, 2B, R), and an RBI single by Makoto Kanemoto (1-for-3, R, RBI). The Marines would push across two more runs in the inning before being shut-out over the final 3 innings of the game.
Mamoru Kishida (7 IP, 4 H, 10 K, 3 R, 3 ER) had his fourth consecutive quality start and picked up his 3rd win of the season. The Fighters went with Ryo Sakakibara (4 IP, 6 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) and then moved on to Hideki Sunaga (1 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 R, 4 ER), but he also couldn't stop the bleeding. Keisuke Tanimoto added more gas to fire with an awful 8th: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 R, 4 ER).
Rhodes hit his 8th, 9th, and 10th home runs of the season and his 450th, 451st, and 452nd home runs of his career. It was also his first 3 home run game in 7 years. Rhodes hit home run number 450 in his 1,609th game, second only to Sadaharu Oh's 1,559. ... Katsuya Nomura is now 1 victory away from 1,500 for his managerial career.
Time: 2h 45m
Rakuten Eagles 4 - Softbank Hawks 0
Darrell Rasner gave the Eagles exactly what they needed: a strong outing after a tough loss in extra innings. Rasner tossed 6 shut-out innings and held the Hawks to 4 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strike outs. Shinichiro Koyama finished off the game with 3 innings of 1-hit, 3 strike out ball and picked up a save. Toshiya Sugiuchi (7 IP, 8 H, 10 K, 3 BB, 4 R, 3 ER) started for the Hawks and was saddled with his first loss of the season.
The Hawks only managed to scatter 5 hits over 9 innings. And while they did manage to get 2 runners on base in the second and 6th innings, both came with 2 outs in the inning.
The Eagles did most of their damage in the second when Takeshi Yamasaki (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) hit his 4th home run of the year with a runner on first. Motohiro Shima (2-for-4, RBI) pushed across the third run of the inning when he followed a Teppei Tsuchiya (1-for-3, R, 2B) double with an RBI single.
Sugiuchi became the 318 pitcher to toss 1,000 innings. He reached the figure after the end of the fourth.
Time: 2h 58m