Yokohama Bay Stars 6 - Chunichi Dragons 1
Daisuke Miura took the mound for the Bay Stars and notched his second consecutive victory (8 IP, 4 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 1 HBP, R, ER). Daisuke Yamai started the game for the Dragons and lasted only 4 innings (4 IP, 4 H, K, 4 BB, 5 R, 5 ER).
The Bay Stars jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Seiichi Uchikawa's (2-for-3, BB, HR, R, RBI) third round tripper of the season. Yuki Yoshimura (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI), Yuta Naito (1-for-3, R, RBI) and Takeshi Hosoyamada (2-for-3, 2 2B, R, RBI) each contributed RBIs. Shuichi Murata went 0-for-3 with a walk and a GIDP in the 7th.
The Dragons lone run came in the top of the 5th on Atsushi Fujii's (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) 5th home run of the season. ... Miura wanted to try for a complete game, but was taken out after 8 innings as a precaution -- he was hit with a comebacker off the bat of Tony Blanco in the 8th.
Time: 2h 36m
Yomiuri Giants 6 - Hanshin Tigers 5
Hayato Sakamoto had a huge day for the Giants, going 3-for-3 with a walk, 2 homers, 2 runs, and 4 RBI. The first of Sakamoto's home runs came in the top of the fourth with runners on first and third and 2 out. The second came in the top of the 9th and turned out to be the difference in the game. Yoshitomo Tani (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI) also hit a home run for the Giants, his first of the season.
The Tigers offense banged out 10 hits, including a double and triple, and only managed to push 5 runs across the plate. Norihiro Akahoshi (3-for-5, 3 R) scored every time he got on base; Kentaro Sekimoto (2-for-3, 3B, RBI) and Keisuke Kano (2-for-4, 2B R) contributed 2 hits a piece.
Seth Greisinger ran into some bad luck, giving up 2 unearned run, but still managed to keep the Giants in the game over his 6.1 innings of work (6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 K, BB, 5 R, 3 ER). Tetsuya Yamaguchi ended up with the win; Daisuke Ochi recorded his second save. Kyuji Fujikawa was saddled with the loss when he gave up the game-winning home run to Sakamoto in the top of the 9th.
Tani was the Giants' lead-off hitter for the first time this season. ... Sakamoto hit 2 home runs in a game for the first time in his career. It was also the 5th time this season that he collected 3 hits.
Time: 3h 3m
Hiroshima Carp 9 - Yakult Swallows 2
After stringing together two solid starts, Yasuhiro Ichiba tossed up a stinker: 5.1 IP, 8 H, K, 2 BB, 6 R, 6 ER. Kolby Lewis (5 IP, 4 H, 7 K, BB, HBP, 2 R, 0 ER) started for the Carp but didn't figure in the decision; Tomohiro Umetsu got the win in relief.
The Swallows did all their scoring in the second inning when Ryoji Aikawa (0-for-4, R) reached base on a fielding error by Kenta Kurihara with 2 out. Hiroyasu Tanaka (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) then followed with his first home run of the season. That gave the Swallows an early 2-1 lead that would only last until the bottom of the third when Hiroshima tied the game at 2.
The Carp pounded out 14 hits (including a double, 3 triples, and a home run) in the game. Akihiro Higashide went 2-for-5 with 2 triples and 2 runs scored; Masato Akamatsu (2-for-3, R, 2 RBI), Soicihro Amaya (2-for-3, BB, 3B, 1 R, 2 RBI), Scott McClain (2-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI), Eishin Soyogi (2-for-3, BB, 2 R), and Takuro Ishii (2-for-2, RBI) each contributed 2 hits a piece; Jun Hirose (1-for-1, HR, R, RBI) hit his first home run of the season.
...McClain played in his first game of the season for the Carp.
Time: 3h 1m
Nippon Ham Fighters 7 - Seibu Lions 6
The Seibu Lions used a single, 2 doubles, and 4 home runs (Hiroyuki Nakajima, Hiroshi Hirao, G.G. Sato, and Hiram Bocachica) to score 6 runs over 11 innings. While it was enough to push the game into extra innings (the 2 runs that scored on Bocachica's 2-run homer in 7th tied the game at 6), they simply didn't have anything else left in the tank, going a combined 0-for-6 in the 10th and 11th innings.
The Fighters banged out 10 hits to score 6 runs, but only needed 1 hit, a walk, a sac bunt, and a sac fly to score the game winning run in the bottom of the 11th (Terrmel Sledge hit the game-winning sac fly). Hichori Morimoto went 5-for-6 with 3 runs and an RBI.
Kazuyuki Hoashi was knocked out after giving up 6 runs (all earned) on 10 hits and 3 strike outs over 4.1 innings of work. Ryuma Nogami was saddled with the loss after recording his first career save on Friday against the Fighters. Shugo Fujii (5 IP, 5 H, 3 K, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER) had another rough start -- it was the third time this season he has given up 4 or more runs in a start. Hisashi Takeda got the win in relief.
Nakajima finally hit his first home run of the season in his 26th game. ... The last time Morimoto recorded 5 hits was back in 2004.
Time: 4h 17m
Rakuten Eagles 7 - Orix Buffaloes 3
Hisashi Iwakuma (7 IP, 12 H, 5 K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER) tossed a season high, 115 pitches on his way to his third victory of the year. Satoshi Komatsu continues to struggle, giving up 7 runs (all earned), on 8 hits and 2 walks over 1.1 innings of work.
Naoto Watanabe (2-for-2, BB, HBP, R), Takeshi Yamasaki (2-for-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI), and Norihiro Nakamura (2-for-4, R) each collected 2 hits. Teppei Tsuchiya (1-for-4, 3B) drove in 2 runs with a triple in the first.
The Buffaloes recoreded 12 hits but managed to score only 3 runs. Hirotoshi Kitagawa (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) hit a run-scoring double in the 6th for the Buffaloes' first run of the game. Tuffy Rhodes (1-for-3, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI) smacked his 11th home run of the season in the 7th, following a double by Jose Fernandez (2-for-4, 2B, R).
The Buffaloes fielded a starting line-up that featured players that were all over 30.
Time: 2h 53m
Lotte Marines 9 - Softbank Hawks 4
The Marines offense combined for 13 hits (3 doubles, 2 home runs) and scored 9 runs. Tadahito Iguchi went 3-for-5 with a home run, double, 2 runs scored and an RBI; Tsuyoshi Nishioka (1-for-5, HR, R, 2 RBI) hit the other home run for the Marines. Kazuya Fukuura (2-for-4, HBP, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Shoitsu Ohmatsu (2-for-5, 2B, R), and Saburo Ohmura (2-for-4, BB, R) collected 2 hits a piece.
Of the 9 hits the Hawks hit, 6 went for extra base hits -- 5 doubles and a home run. Only one of those doubles didn't factor into the scoring. Jose Ortiz went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, 2 runs scored and an RBI. Satoru Morimoto (2-for-3, 2B, R) came in for Yuichi Honda (HBP) after he was hit by a pitch in the first.
Yuki Karakawa started for the Marines and got the win (6 IP, 8 H, 6 K, 2 HBP, 3 R, 3 ER). Nagisa Arakaki (6 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 2 BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER) gave up 4 runs in his third consecutive start, this time getting saddled with a loss.
A bad throw by Ortiz in the 8th after 2 out allowed an extra run to score on the play. ... The homers by Nishioka and Iguchi were hit back-to-back in the 5th. ... Fukuura recorded his 1,500th hit in the 8th: a 2-run double off Akio Mizuda.
Time: 3h 28m