Yakult Swallows 3 - Chunichi Dragons 0
The Swallows beat the Dragons behind solid pitching by Masanori Ishikawa: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 0 R. Ishikawa started the season off with two rough starts but has bounced back nicely, giving up only 2 runs in his last 3 starts. Chang-Yong Lim finished out the game (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and picked up his 6th save. Kazuki Yoshimi (8 IP, 7 H, 6, 3 BB, 1 R, 1 ER) took the loss.
The Dragons hit 6 hits (including 3 doubles) collectively, but never managed more than 1 hit in an inning. Hirokazu Ibata went 2-for-2 with 2 walks and a double.
Aaron Guiel (1-for-3, BB, HR, R, RBI) got the Swallows on the board with a solo homer in the 6th. The team scored 2 more runs in the top of the 9th, both runs scoring after Norichika Aoki (1-for-3, BB, HBP, 2B) was hit in the head by Hitoki Iwase (he was thrown out of the game).
Time: 3h 22m
Hanshin Tigers 3 - Yokohama Bay Stars 2
The Bay Stars held a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the 9th when the Tigers roared back with 3 runs for a come-from-behind win. Yuya Ishii entered the game in the bottom of the 9th to shut the doors. He retired the first two batters but then gave up 5 consecutive hits: a single to Makoto Imaoka (1-for-1), an RBI triple to Keiichi Hirano (1-for-3, 2 HBP, 3B, R, RBI), an RBI single to Kentaro Sekimoto (2-for-5, 2B, R, RBI), a single to Takashi Toritani (3-for-4, HBP), and a game-winning RBI to Tomoaki Kanemoto (1-for-5, RBI).
Ishii's blown save and second loss of the season ruined a good start by Tom Mastny: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 4 K, 3 HBP, 0 R. Scott Atchison picked the win for the Tigers in relief; Yasutomo Kubo originally started the game (6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 2 BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER).
The Bay Stars scored both of their runs in the 5th on Takayuki Kajitani's (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) first home run of the season. Shuichi Murata went 0-for-3 with a walk.
Time: 3h 33m
Yomiuri Giants 7 - Hiroshima Carp 4
The Giants finally managed to score some runs after being shut-out 3 games in a row. Michihiro Ogasawara (4-for-5, HR, R, 5 RBI) and Ryota Wakiya (4-for-5, 3 R, RBI) each picked up 4 hits and provided most of the spark for Giants. Alex Ramirez finished 0-for-5 with 2 strike outs.
The Carp trailed for most of the game, except for an inning and a half, starting in the bottom of the third when they managed to tie the game at three on a sac fly by Masato Akamatsu (0-for-3, RBI) and a 2-run shot by Soichiro Amaya (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI).
Satoshi Fukuda (6 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 4 R, 1 ER) got the start and picked up his second victory; Daisuke Ochi faced 4 batters in the 9th for a save. After holding the Giants to two runs in his first start, Kenta Maeda wasn't quite as effective and took the loss: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER.
Tatsunori Hara recorded his 400th managerial victory. ... Ogasawara's run scored off the home run was the team's first in 28 innings.
Time: 3h 19m
Rakuten Eagles 4 - Nippon Ham Fighters 2
If the Eagles are going to get anywhere this season, they'll need the other starters in the rotation to step up. Kohei Hasebe is one of the pitchers the Eagles' hope will stick. And while his outing tonight wasn't exceptionally good, it was enough for his first win of the season: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER. Kanehisa Arime tossed a perfect 9th for a save. Brian Sweeney continues to struggle for the Fighters: 5 IP, 8 H, 2 K, 4 BB, 3 R, 3 ER.
Naoto Watanabe (3-for-4, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI) had a good game for the Eagles. Both Norihiro Nakamura (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) and Teppei Tsuchiya (2-for-4, RBI) had 2 hits a piece to go along with an RBI.
Eiichi Koyano (2-for-4, RBI) and Makoto Kaneko (1-for-3, RBI) were responsible for driving in both Fighters' runs. Kensuke Tanaka went 2-for-5.
The win by the Eagles tonight means the team finishes the month of April in first place.
Time: 3h 23m
Softbank Hawks 8 - Seibu Lions 5
The Hawks pounded out 16 hits, including 4 doubles, on their way to scoring 8 runs. Hiroki Kokubo led the hit parade, going 4-for-5 with a double, run, and 3 RBI. Yuichi Honda (2-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Munenori Kawasaki (2-for-5, 2B, R) and Jose Ortiz (2-for-4, 2B, R) finished with 2 hits a piece. The number 9 hitter, Ryuma Kidokoro, went 1-for-3 with 2 RBI.
The Seibu Lions actually jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first when Takeya Nakamura (2-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBI) drilled his 9th home run of the season with the bases juiced. G.G. Sato (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) added another run in the 6th with his 3rd home of the season.
Fumiya Nishiguchi started the game for the Lions and gave up 5 runs (all earned) on 10 hits, 4 strike outs, 1 walk, and 2 HBPs over 5.2 inning of work. But he utlimately didn't get the loss; his replacement, Yoshihiro Doi, did (.2 IP, 2 H, K, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER). Like Nishiguchi, Hawks' starter Kenji Ohtonari also gave up 5 runs (all earned) on 8 hits, 4 strike outs and 4 walks over 5.2 innings and didn't factor in the decision. Akio Mizuda picked up the win by getting one out. Takahiro Mahara tossed the 9th for a save.
Time: 3h 33m
Chiba Lotte Marines 5 - Orix Buffaloes 2
Tadahito Iguchi (1-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI) was in the starting line-up and hit a walk-off 3-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to catapult the Marines to a 5-2 victory over the Buffaloes. Gary Burnham Jr. (1-for-1, 2B, RBI) hit a key, pinch hit, RBI double in the bottom of the 8th to tie the score at 2. Toshiaki Imae (2-for3, 2 2B, RBI) and Bennny Agbayani (2-for-5, 2B) chipped in with 2 hits a piece.
The middle of the Buffaloes line-up was fairly quiet -- the trio of Jose Fernandez, Tuffy Rhodes, and Greg LaRocca went 1-for-13 with a walk, double, and 5 strike outs. Shinji Shimoyama (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) hit his first home run of the year to give the Buffaloes a 2-1 in the 6th.
Naoyuki Shimizu (8.1 IP, 5 H, 6 K, 4 BB, 2 R, 1 ER) started the game for the Marines; Yoshihiro Ito (2 IP, 2 H, K, BB, 0 R) got the win. Shogo Yamamoto (7 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 3 BB, 1 R, 1 ER) took the mound for the Buffaloes; Tsuyoshi Kikuchihara (0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER) was the losing pitcher on record.
Time: 3h 27m