Yomiuri Giants 5 - Yokohama Bay Stars 3
Hisanori Takahashi (6 IP, 4 H, 10 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) won his first game since April 7th by holding the Bay Stars to 2 runs over 6 innings of work. Daisuke Ochi (1 IP, 2 H, K, R, ER) gave up a home run and then a double to the first two hitters he faced in the 9th, but settled down after that and picked up his 5th save of the season. Les Walrond (7 IP, 7 H, 11 H, BB, K, 3 R, 3 ER) picked up the loss.
The Bay Stars got on the board first when Tatsuhiko Kinjo (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) hit a double to drive in Yuki Yoshimura (2-for-2, BB, R, RBI) from first. But the lead wouldn't last very long as the Giants picked up 3 runs in the 5th: with the bases loaded and 2 out, Hayato Sakamoto (1-for-5, RBI) pushed across the first run with an infield single and Tetsuya Matsumoto (2-for-4, BB, 2 RBI) drove in two runs with a single to left.
The Dragons would push across another run in the 6th on a sac fly by Yoshimura. The Giants would counter with 2 more runs in 8th: with runners on second and third and 1 out, Shinnosuke Abe (1-for-3, 2B, R, 2B) hit a 2-run double to right. Shuichi Murata (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) drove in the third and final Bay Stars' run in the top of the 9th with his 3rd home run of the season.
The Giants have now won 6 games in a row, the third time they have managed such a streak this season.
Time: 3h 11m
Chunichi Dragons 6 - Yakult Swallows 3
After two very good starts by Yasuhiro Ichiba (3 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 5 R, 5 ER) to start his career with the Swallows, he has now tossed two consecutive stinkers. Kenta Asakura (7 IP, 6 H, 3 K, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) picked up his first win since April 21st. Hitoki Iwase recorded his 7th save of the season with a perfect 9th.
The Dragons scored all their runs on home runs: Keiji Oyama (1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI) hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd; Tony Blanco (1-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI) hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd; and Kazuhiro Wada (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI) smacked his 10th homer of the season in the 8th. Oyama actually could have had a 3-run homer in the second if not for Wada over-running second and getting thrown out. Atsushi Fujii went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Hiroyasu Tanaka (0-for-2) was the root of all the Swallows' offensive woes tonight (ok, maybe not). He hit into 2 double plays that completely killed or muted rallies that should have led to runs: in the second with runners on first and second and one out, Hiroyasu Tanaka hit into a double to end the inning; and in the 5th, with runners on first and third and no out, he hit into a double play. But what makes the second GIDP hurt even more: Ryohei Kawamoto's (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) home run immediately afterward. Norichika Aoki went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Iwase's save was his 200th of his career -- he is the fourth player to reach the milestone. ... Oyama's home run was the first of his pro career.
Time: 2h 55m
Hanshin Tigers 1 - Hiroshima Carp 0
It was a pitcher's duel at Koshien Stadium. The difference ended up coming from two players over 40.
Tsuyoshi Shimonoyagi (9 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 4 BB, 0 R) tossed his best game of the season, a complete game shut-out. Kan Ohtake (8 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 3 BB, HBP, 0 R) did a good job of keeping pace, but was taken out after 8. Ryuji Yokoyama ended up taking the loss when he surrendered a game-winning home run to the first batter he faced, Akihiro Kanemoto (2-for-3, BB, 2B, HR, R, RBI), in the bottom of the 9th.
The Tigers actually had a couple of chances to score some runs in the game, their best coming in the second when they managed to load the bases with no outs. But Atsushi Fujimoto (0-for-3) hit into a double play, completely taking the wind out of the sails. And another double play in the 5th killed a rally before it even had a chance to take shape. The Tigers had another chance in the 6th when they managed to get runners on second and third with 2 outs, but Takahiro Arai (1-for-3) flied out to right.
The Carp really didn't put up much of a fight on offense. Kenta Kurihara (1-for-4) and Yoshiyuki Ishihara (1-for-3) were responsible for the 2 hits the team managed to get off Shimonoyagi.
Kanemoto's home run was the Tigers' 7,000th home run. ... Arai's hit was his first in 18 trips to the plate. ... The last time Shimonoyagi tossed a complete game shut-out was on August 29th, 2003. ... Ohtake has not given up a run over 24 innings.
Time: 2h 31m
Nippon Ham Fighters 8 - Rakuten Eagles 1
This is a big series for both teams, as the two are currently atop the PL standing.
Ryohei Isaka did a nice job against the Lions on the 5th, but he couldn't do the same against the Fighters, giving up 6 runs (all earned) on 5 hits and 5 walks; he was yanked after 2 innings of work. Tomoya Yagi (9 IP, 8 H, 6 K, BB, HBP, R, ER) went the distance and is now 3-0 on the season.
The Fighters jumped all over Isaka in the second, sending 10 players to the plate. The Fighters pushed across 4 runs in the inning on 2 singles, a double, and 4 (!) walks. The third inning wasn't that much better (the Fighters sent 8 players to the plate), but was made worse when Toshiya Nakashima committed an error in right. Kensuke Tanaka (3-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI) and Luis Jimenez (3-for-5, 2B, R) picked up 3 hits a piece.
The Eagles weren't much of a threat until the 8th, when they managed a runners on first and second situation with 1 out, but Takeshi Yamasaki (0-for-4) hit into a double play to end the inning. The Eagles then led off the 9th with a single and an HBP, but Nakashima (1-for-4) flew out to center and Ryuji Miyade (1-for-4) hit into a game-ending double play. Fernando Seguignol (1-for-2, HBP, BB, HR, R, RBI) was responsible for the lone run the Eagles scored: a solo shot in the 2nd.
Daisuke Kusano (1-for-4) picked up a single in his last trip to the plate in the 8th to keeping his hitting streak alive.
Time: 2h 46m
Seibu Lions 6 - Orix Buffaloes 5
Even on days Takayuki Kishi isn't exactly his best, he still manages to win. And tonight was no different against the Buffaloes. Kishi (6 IP, 6 H, 5 K 2 BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) remains undefeated and runs his record to 6-0. Chikara Onodera recorded his 2nd save of the season. Kazuki Kondo (6.2 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 4 BB, HBP, 6 R, 6 ER) had another rough start and picked up his 2nd loss of the season.
The Lions took a 3-0 lead in the first Yoshihito Ishii (2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI) hit a 2-run double and G.G. Sato (1-for-3, RBI) followed with a single to push Ishii across the plate. The Lions scored 3 more runs in the top of the 5th: an RBI double by Hiram Bocachica (1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI); an RBI double by Yasuki Kataoka (2-for-5, 2B, R, RBI) and an RBI single by Hiroyuki Nakajima (1-for-4, RBI). The Lions managed to load the bases in the 9th with no out, but failed to push a single run across.
The Buffaloes didn't have much luck scoring runs over the first 4 innings of the game (they left the bases loaded in the 2nd with 2 out), but starting in the 5th, the Buffaloes scored 5 runs. In the 5th, Tomotaka Sakaguchi (2-for-3, BB, HR, R, RBI) hit a home run; in the 6th, with 2 out and the bases loaded, Ikki Shimamura (1-for-2, 2 RBI) hit a 2-run single; and finally in the 8th, Takeshi Hidaka (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI) and Shinji Shimoyama (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) each hit solo home runs.
The Buffaloes are on a 5-game slide. ... Kishi has now won 12 consecutive games (going back to last season).
Time: 3h 31m
Chiba Lotte Marines 2 - Softbank Hawks 1
Yoshihisa Naruse (7 IP, 5 H, 13 K, BB, R, ER) struck out a career high 13 hitters on his way to his second victory of the season. Tadahiro Ogino tossed a scoreless 9th for his 5th save of the season. D.J. Houlton (7 IP, 5 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) had his second consecutive quality start, but still took the loss -- he has now lost three straight.
Naruse did pitch a good game, but if not for Tadahito Iguchi, his start would have gone to waste. In the top of the first, with Kazuya Fukuura (2-for-4, 2B, R) on second with 2 out, Iguchi hit an RBI triple. And then, in the 6th, Iguchi hit his 8th home run of the season, to give the Marines a 2-1 lead. Iguchi finished the night 2-for-4 with a triple, home run, a run scored, and 2 RBI.
The Hawks bunched all 5 of their hits between the second and fourth innings. The one (and only) run scored on an RBI double by Jose Ortiz (1-for-4, 2B, RBI).
Ortiz was the starting left fielder for the Hawks -- it was the first time he played the OF in Japan.
Time: 2h 50m