Yokohama Bay Stars 6 - Yomiuri Giants 4
Shun Tono has been close to automatic for the Giants. And for just the second time in six starts, Tono gave-up more than a run: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 K, BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER. And while you could blame this loss on Tono, wasn't especially helpful either, giving up 3 runs over the final 4 innings of the game. Les Walrond (6 IP, 8 H, 6 K, BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) got the start for the Bay Stars and got the win; Shun Yamaguchi picked up his first save of the season.
All three of the runs the Bay Stars scored off Tono came on home runs: Dan Johnson (2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) hit a solo homer to lead-off the 4th and Shuchi Murata (1-for-4, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI) hit a 2-run shot in the 5th. Lead-off hitter Takehiro Ishikawa went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.
The Giants had a number of chances to score runs, but couldn't take full advantage of each. They left the bases loaded in the first; they managed to score a run in the 3rd, but they managed to leave the bases loaded this inning as well; and while the Giants were also able to score a run in the 4th, it ended somewhat prematurely on a double play caused by a bad base-running play. Hayato Sakamoto went 1-for-4 with a homer, a run, and 2 RBI.
Seung-Yeop Lee took a HBP off his right hand in the third and was promptly replaced with a pinch hitter.
Time: 3h 36m
Hanshin Tigers - Yakult Swallows
Hiroshima Carp 2 - Chunichi Dragons 0
The Hiroshima Carp got some solid pitching from their staff, starting with Kan Ohtake - 7 IP, 5 H, 7 K, BB, 0 R. Michael Schultz followed with a perfect 8th (2 K), and Katsuhiro Nagakawa closed out the game for his 9th save of the season. The Dragons countered with Kenta Asakura (8 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 3 BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER), the losing pitcher on record.
The Chunichi Dragons didn't have much of any offense against Ohtake, but they did almost get something going in the bottom of the 7th. Tony Blanco (1-for-4) led off with a single; Kazuhiro Wada (0-for-4) struck out for the first out of the inning; Kei Nomoto (1-for-3) followed with a single left; with runners on first and second, Atsushi Fujii (2-for-3, 2B) singled to right and Blanco was gunned out at home. The inning ended when the next batter, pinch-hitter Kazuyoshi Tatsunami (0-for-1), flied out to right.
The Carp offense wasn't that much better, but unlike the Dragons, they did just enough to score a couple of runs in key situations. In the top of the first, with runners on first and third (including an error on a bunt play), Kenta Kurihara (2-for-4, RBI) singled to push across the first run of the game. In the top of the second, with a runner on third and 2 out, Ohtake singled to drive in the second (and final) run of the game.
Time: 2h 56m
Rakuten Eagles 7 - Seibu Lions 3
After losing to the Lions yesterday, the Eagles managed to re-group and take a game away from Kazuhisa Ishii (4.2 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 6 R, 6 ER), who has yet to find his rhythm this season. The Eagles relied on Mashiro Tanaka's replacement, Ryohei Isaka (6 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) to get the team back on the winning track.
The middle of the order came up big for the Eagles: Takeshi Yamasaki (2-for-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI), Norihiro Nakamura (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI) and Fernando Seguignol (3-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) drove in 6 of the 7 runs the Eagles scored. Daisuke Kusano (1-for-4, 2B) picked up another hit to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.
Takeya Nakamura (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI) continues to hit fot the Lions, cranking out his 12th home run of the season, a solo shot in the 2nd, and driving in a second run in the 5th on a RBI double. Yasuyuki Kataoka (1-for-5, 2B, R, RBI) and Hiroshi Hirao (1-for-4, 2B) both hit doubles.
The Eagles finished with 13 hits, their 7th consecutive game with 10 or more hits.
Time: 3h 21m
Nippon Ham Fighters 2 - Chiba Lotte Marines 0
Tomoya Yagi got the start for the Fighters and continued to pitch well, tossing a shut-out through 5 and gave up 6 hits, 4 walks, and struck out 4. Hiroyuki Kobayashi appears to be turning a corner, only giving up 2 runs on 7 hits, 4 strike outs and 2 walks through 5 innings of work.
The Fighters scored all their runs in the second, the first coming on a lead-off home run by Terrmel Sledge (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI). An out later, Yoshio Itoi (2-for-2, 2B, R) singled to right, stole second with Shinya Tsuruoka (0-for-2) up to bat, and moved over to third when Tsuruoka grounded out to second. Hot-hitting Makoto Kaneko (1-for-2, RBI) then singled to right to drive Itoi in for the second run of the game.
The Marines struggled big time with runners in scoring position, leaving the bases loaded in the third; runners on second and third with 1 out in the fourth; and the bases loaded again in the fifth. Tadahito Iguchi was in the starting line-up again (as DH) and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Naotaka Takehara went 2-for-3.
Time: 2h 13m
Orix Buffaloes 2 - Softbank Hawks 1
It was a pitcher's duel at the Kyocera Dome. Pitchers on either side tossed complete games and neither gave up a walk. D.J. Houlton (8 IP, 7 H, 8 K, 2 R, 2 ER) got the start for the Hawks and took the tough loss; Chihiro Kaneko (9 IP, 4 H, 4 K, 1 R, 1 ER) started for the Buffaloes and came out with a win.
The Buffaloes got on the board first with three hits in the first The go ahead run scored in the 5th when Naoyuki Ohmura (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) drilled a double to right to score Koji Yamasaki (1-for-3, R) from first.
Hidenori Tanoue (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) drove in the lone Hawks' run with his third home run of the season. Munenori Kawasaki went 2-for-4; Nobuhiko Matsunaka went 0-for-4.
Time: 2h 23m