Yakult Swallows 4 - Chunichi Dragons 2
After losing 5 straight, the Swallows finally managed to break out with a win. And the big difference came off the bat of Jamie D'Antona (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) in the top of the 8th: a 2-run shot that broke a 2-2 tie.
Ryo Kawashima (5.2 IP, 2 H, 4 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER) started for the Swallows but did not factor in the decision. Masao Kida (1 IP, 2 K, BB, 0 R) picked up the victory in relief. Chang-Yong Lim 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, BB, IBB, 0 R) recorded his 5th save, but not before loading the bases. Kenta Asakura (8 IP, 6 H, 2 K, BB, HBP, 4 R, 3 ER) suffered his first loss of the season.
Ryoji Aikawa went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI; he raises his average to .344. Kazuhiro Wada (1-for-3, BB, HR, R, RBI) launched his 8th home run of the season for the Dragons.
Time: 2h 43m
Hanshin Tigers 8 - Yokohama Bay Stars 4
The Tigers collectively hit 13 hits off the Bay Stars in scoring 8 runs. Takahiro Arai had a big night, going 4-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs, and 4 RBI. Tomoaki Kanemoto went 1-for-3 with an IBB and 2 runs scored. Takashi Toritani (2-for-4, 2 R) and Asai (2-for-2, RBI) finished the game with 2 hits.
The Bay Stars had their big inning in the 6th when they turned a walk, two singles, and two doubles into 4 runs. Dan Johnson (2-for-4, R, RBI) and Takeshi Hosoyamada (2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI) drove in all four of the runs.
Futoshi Kobayashi (5 IP, 7 H, 4 K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER) got the start for the Bay Stars, but didn't factor into the decision. Teruaki Yoshikawa (1 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 R, 2 ER) got the loss in relief. Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (6 IP, 7 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) had another rough start, but was taken out of the game while the score was still tied. Hirotaka Egusa (.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R) got the win instead.
Time: 3h 7m
Hiroshima Carp 5 - Yomiuri Giants 0
Another rough outing for Tetsuya Utsumi: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 K, BB, HBP, 5 R, 5 ER. In 3 of his 5 starts this season, he has given up 4 or more runs three times. Kan Ohtake (9 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 0 R) picked up his first complete game shut-out victory of the season.
The Giants had at least two chances in the game to push a few runs across the board. In the top of the 5th, they loaded the bases with 2-out single and a walk; and they started off the 6th with lead-off single. If not for a running miscue when Michihiro Ogasawara (1-for-4) singled with an out and a runner on second, the Giants could have loaded the bases again with only 1 out since Alex Ramirez (2-for-4) followed with a single.
The Carp scored all their runs in the 6th (you could argue that perhaps Utsumi was begining to tire): a double by Masato Akatamatsu (1-for-3, HBP, 3B, R), a bunt by Soichiro Amaya (1-for-1, R) that ended with him being safe, a sac fly by Scott Seabol (0-for-3, RBI), a single by Yoshiyuki Ishihara (1-for-3, R), a single by Tetsuya Kokubo (1-for-3, R, RBI), and a triple by Eishin Soyogi (1-for-3, BB, 3B, R, 2 RBI). A grounder to short by Jun Hirose (0-for-4, RBI) drove in Soyogi from third for the 5th and final run.
Ohtake retired the first 12 batters in order.
Time: 2h 50m
Nippon Ham Fighters 4 - Rakuten Eagles 2
Looks like Katsuya Nomura will have to wait another day for his 1,500th victory as manager.
Takashi Kawai had a rough outing against the Fighters, giving up 4 runs (none earned) on 6 hits, 3 strike outs, a walk, and 2 HBP. Tomoya Yagi (5 IP, 5 H, 3 K, BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) didn't pitch particularly well, but still managed to get a victory. Hisashi Takeda picked up his 5th save.
With the help of a key error by left fielder Rick Short, the Fighters managed to score 3 unearned runs -- and all 3 scored with 2 runners on and 2 outs in the books. Yoshio Itoi (2-for-4, BB, 2 2B, 3 RBI) and Eiichi Koyano (2-for-5, 2B, R, RBI) drove in all 4 runs for the Fighters.
Norihiro Nakamura (1-for-3, BB, RBI) and Takeshi Yamasaki (0-for-3, RBI) drove in both of the runs for the Eagles.
Time: 3h 32m
Seibu Lions 5 - Softbank Hawks 4
Takayuki Kishi is now a perfect 4-0 in 4 starts: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 4 R, 3 ER. Chikara Onodera got his first save with a perfect ninth. Kameron Loe ran into some bad luck and picked up his third loss of the season: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 5 R, 2 ER.
The Lions didn't exactly tear the cover off the ball against Loe -- their first two runs scored with the help of an error by Ortiz and a wild pitch. And the game-winning run that scored in the 6th crossed the plate because of a throwing error by Honda.
Jose Ortiz (1-for-3, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI) hit his first home run in his first game with the Hawks, a 2-run shot in the second. The Hawks pushed 2 more runs across in the 3rd and it all started when Katsuki Yamazaki got to first safely on a bad throw by by Nakamura. That was followed up by a sac bunt and a single. A balk pushed the first run of the inning across the plate. A single and a walk later, the bases were loaded and Yuya Hasegawa (2-for-3, BB, R, RBI) singled home the last run the Hawks would score in the game.
Kishi won his 10 straight victory (continuing from last season).
Time: 3h 10m
Orix Buffaloes 4 - Chiba Lotte Marines 3
The Marines held a 3-2 lead going into the top of the 6th when Greg LaRocca (3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI) tied the score with a 1-run double. The score would remain tied until the top of the 10th when Keiji Ohbiki (1-for-5, R, RBI) hit his first home run of the season; Ohbiki had struck out in his previous 3 at bats.
Kazuya Fukuura (2-for-2, 2 BB, 2 R) and Gary Burnham Jr. (3-for-4, BB, 2 2B, 3 RBI) drove the offense for the Marines.
Kazuki Kondo (3 IP, 4 H, K, 4 BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) had a rough out for the Buffaloes; Daisuke Kato (2 IP, 3 K, 0 R) tossed 2 innings for his second victory of the season. Hiroyuki Kobayashi (6 IP, 5 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) started the game for the Marines; Brian Sikorski (2 IP, H, K, 2 BB, R, ER) suffered his second loss of the season.
Time: 4h 4m