Yomiuri Giants 3 - Chunichi Dragons 1
Dicky Gonzalez (7 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 0 R) has so far proven to be a very solid pick-up for the Giants, racking up his second consecutive quality start and has yet to give up a run over 14 innings of work. Daisuke Ochi picked up a save. Weiyin Chen (8 IP, 7 H, 5 K, BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) went the distance for the Dragons and picked up his second loss of the season.
The Giants scored all three of their runs on home runs: Shinnosuke Abe (1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI) hit his 2-run shot in the second to give the Giants a 2-0 lead; and Alex Ramirez (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) hit a solo shot in the 6th for the third. Hayato Sakamoto (0-for-4) and Michihiro Ogasawara (0-for-3, BB) were held without hits. Seung-Yeop Lee went 2-for-2 with a HBP, double, and a run scored.
The Dragons had a great opportunity to score some runs in the second, after they started off the inning with consecutive singles from Kazuhiro Wada (1-for-3, BB) and Masaaki Koike (1-for-3), but the next three batters couldn't get the ball out of the infield. The one time the Dragons did manage to push a run across the plate was in the 8th when Masahiro Araki (2-for-3, 2B, R) hit a double with 1 out. The next batter, Masahiko Morino, struck out for the second out of the inning, taking some air out of the balloon for the Dragons. But Tony Blanco (1-for-4, RBI) came through with an RBI single to right. The Dragons then loaded the bases with 2 walks, but the inning came to an end when Atsushi Fujii (1-for-4) struck out on 5 pitches.
Ramirez had gone 12 games without a home run.
Time: 3h 2m
Hiroshima Carp 4 - Yakult Swallows 1
Colby Lewis (7 IP, 4 H, 7 K, BB, R, ER) won his first game in his second appearance since returning from the disabled list. Katsuhiro Nagakawa picked up his 10th save of the season. Ryo Kawashima (5 IP, 3, 3 K, 3 BB, 3 R, ER) started for the Swallows and took the loss, his second.
The Carp offense got a lot of help from the Swallows' defense. Their first run of the game in the 5th crossed the plate on an error by Kenzo Kawashima. Then in the 6th, with runners on second and third and no out, Kenta Kurihara (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) singled to right, scoring runner at third. But the play didn't end there. Aaron Guiel bobbled the ball, allowing the runner that was on second to score. A stolen base and a wild pitch pitch moved Kurihara to third and Takuro Ishii (2-for-3, BB, RBI) drove him home on a single.
The Carp weren't quite as accomodating. While the Swallows did collect 8 hits, they only managed to score 1 run through 9 innings. The one run came in the bottom of the fourth on two doubles: Kazuki Fukuchi (2-for-4, 2B, R) and Guiel (1-for-4, 2B, RBI). The Swallows had a chance to score in the 8th when Hiroyasu Tanaka (2-for-3) led off the inning with a single. If not for a GIDP by Shinichi Takeuchi, the consecutive singles hit by Kawashima (1-for-4) and Fukuchi may have led to a run or two.
Time: 3h 5m
Yokohama Bay Stars 4 - Hanshin Tigers 0
As if things couldn't get any worse for the Tigers... For the second straight game (and the third time over the last 7 days), the Tigers were shut out by the opposition.
Atsushi Noumi (7 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) picked up his third loss of the season after winning two consecutive wins without giving up any runs and a no decision against the Giants in which he gave up 5 runs (of which only 2 were earned). Ryan Glynn picked up the win with another solid outing: 7 IP, 3 H, 5 K, BB, 0 R.
The Tiger's offense only managed to scatter 4 hits over 9 inning. Their biggest threat probably came in the top of the 9th when they got runners on first and second with 2 out, but Weichu Lin (0-for-4) grounded out to first for the final out of the inning. Tomoaki Kanemoto went 1-for-4; Takahiro Arai went 0-for-3 with a walk.
The Bay Stars didn't get on the board until the 7th when they managed to load the bases without recording any outs (2 singles and an HBP). 2 fairly quick outs later and the bases still loaded, the Bay Stars sent up Tatsuhiko Kinjo to pinch hit for Glynn... He didn't disappoint, doubling the fourth pitch he saw from Noumi to clear the bases and give the Bay Stars a 3-0 lead. The Bays Stars scored another run in the 8th to win the game 4-0. Shuichi Murata went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
The Tigers have been held scoreless over their last 25 innings.
Time: 3h 12m
Nippon Ham Fighters 3 - Orix Buffaloes 2
Satoshi Komatsu (5 IP, 6 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 2 ER) probably tossed his best game of the season, but that isn't really saying much, considering he hasn't gone a start without giving up fewer than 6 runs; he is now 0-4 on the year. The Fighters countered with Shugo Fujii (7 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 0 R), who tossed 7 shut-out innings en route to his second victory of the season. Hisashi Takeda got his 7th save of the season.
The Fighter did a good job keeping the Buffaloes from having a big inning over the first 7 frames. In the second inning, the Buffaloes managed to load the bases with only 2 out, but Tomotaka Sakaguchi (1-for-4) grounded into a double play to end the inning. And in the third, Noayuki Ohmura singled with 1 out and was thrown out trying to steal second*, ending any ideas of a potential rally (the next batter, Koji Yamasaki, walked).
But the Buffaloes did finally break through in the 8th, but with help from the Fighters in the form of three consecutive walks, the last pushing Yamasaki across the plate. A ground-out to first by Mitsutaka Goto (0-for-4, RBI) pushed across the last run the Buffaloes would score.
The Fighters offense was a little more economical, scoring runs in every inning where they recorded 2 hits. But it was the 6th inning that would ultimately come back to haunt the Buffaloes. Atsunori Inaba (2-for-4, R, RBI) led off the 6th a single to right. Eiichi Koyano (1-for-3) followed with another single. With runners on first and second, Terrmel Sledge (1-for-4, RBI) hit a grounder to first and ended up safe because of a bad throw; the bad throw also allowed Inaba to score, giving the Fighters a 3-0 lead.
*There was a mix-up with the batting count and the scoreboard. Both the scoreboard and the first base ump thought the count on the batter at the plate was full at 3-2 when in fact it was only 2-2. Ohmura took off on the next pitch, which he saw was a ball and then started to walk to second. But since the count was now 3-2, he was tagged out. After the game, the first base ump admitted his mistake.
Time: 3h 43m
Rakuten Eagles 6 - Chiba Lotte Marines 2
The Eagles' offense was held without over the first 3 innings. But starting from the 5th, the offense slowly started to come around (it all sort of started on an error by Toshiaki Imae), to ultimately push 6 runs across the plate over the final 5 innings of the game (1 in the 5th; 4 in the 7th; and 1 in the 9th). Daisuke Kusano continued to hit, going 2-for-5 with a double and 4 RBI; Ryo Hijirisawa went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI; and Akihito Fujii went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Tadahito Iguchi came up big for the Marines with a 3-for-4 day that included his 6th home run of the season, but it wasn't enough. And getting picked off of second in the second with runners on first and second and no out certainly didn't help, especially when the next three batters ended up walking. But not taking bigger advance of the second wasn't Iguchi's fault alone as the next two batters couldn't get the ball out of the infield either.
Shoitsu Ohmatsu (2-for-4, R) and Benny Agbayani (2-for-3, BB, RBI) finished with 2 hits a piece for the Marines.
Hisashi Iwakuma (7 IP, 5 H, 6 K, 3 BB, HBP, R, ER) struggled with his control but still managed to hold the Marines to 1 run over 7 innings of work. Shingo Ono (6.1 IP, 7 H, BB, 4 R, 3 ER) lost his second consecutive game and is now 1-3 on the season.
Kusano now has a hit in 16 consecutive games, tying the Eagles' club record.
Time: 3h 20m
Seibu Lions 9 - Softbank Hawks 1
The Lions exploded for 9 runs on 11 hits (which included 4 doubles, 2 triples, and a homer) and Kazuyuki Hoashi (8 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 1 R, 1 ER) finally picked up his first win and had his longest outing of the season. Nagisa Arakaki (2.2 IP, 7 H, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 R, 5 ER) had another rough start and has now given up 4 or more runs in each of his 4 starts this season.
Hiroyuki Nakajima appears to be coming around, going 3-for-5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI; he is now hitting .306 for the year. Takeya Nakamura (1-for-4, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI) drilled a 2-run shot in the third, his 13th home run of the season. Yasuyuki Kataoka went 2-for-5 with a triple, 2 runs scored and an RBI.
The Hawks collected 7 hits (all singles), but 4 of those didn't come until the bottom of the 9th, when they managed to score their lone run of the game. Yuya Hasegawa went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
The Lions sent 10 batters to the plate in the 3rd and score 5 runs. 5 of their 11 hits came in the inning, including a double, 2 triples, and a home run. They were also handed 2 free passes. ... 23-year-old rookie Ryu Sakata, who some consider a right-handed Takeya Nakamura, collected his first pro hit and RBI in the 7th. He went 1-for-3 in the game with 2 strike outs, a walk, and 2 RBI. ... 11 of the 24 outs Hoashi recorded was on grounders.
Time: 3h 2m