Yomiuri Giants 9 - Yokohama Bay Stars 5
Seth Greisinger (8 IP, 11 H, 6 K, 5 R, 4 ER) may have gotten the win, but he didn't have a particularly good start. In fact, his last 4 starts haven't been entirely spectacular: 18 runs (15 earned) over 25.1 IP. Yokohama starter Hitoshi Fujii lasted only 2.2 inning and gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits, 3 strike out and 2 walks -- a stark contrast to his last start against the Giants where he gave up only 1 run (earned) over 6.2 innings.
A big night by Shuichi Murata (3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI) couldn't help the Bay Stars topple the Giants two nights in a row. Especially not when the bottom 5 hitters in the Giants line-up goes 9-for-19 with 2 walks, a homer, 6 runs and 7 RBI.
Michihiro Ogasawara went 1-for-3 with a walk, home run, 2 runs, and 2 RBI for the Giants; Hayato Sakamoto picked up 2 hits, a walk, and a run in 5 trips to the plate. Other than Murata, Takehiro Ishikawa (2-for-5, 2 R) and Dan Johnson (2-for-4) picked up 2 hits a piece.
Uchikawa was removed from the game after the fourth due to dizzy spells.
Time: 3h 25m
Yakult Swallows 8 - Chunichi Dragons 5
Shun Takaichi started for the Swallows but lasted only 2 innings: 2 IP, 5 H, K, 2 BB, 4 R, 4 ER. The Swallows bullpen stepped up and tossed 6 innings of 1-run ball with the second reliever, Kenichi Matsuoka, picking up the win. Chang-Yong Lim pitched the 9th for his 11th save of the season. Takashi Ogaswara started for the Dragons and took the loss: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 6 R, 6 ER.
The Dragons took an early 4-0 lead when they jumped all over Takaichi in the second inning and sent 10 batters to the plate. Tony Blanco (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) started things off with his 8th home run of the season. After a fly-out for the first out of the inning, a Kei Nomoto (2-for-4, R) single was followed by two consecutive walks to load the bases. Ogaswara flew out for the second out of the inning and for a brief moment, it appeared as though Takaichi could get out of the inning without too much damage. But unfortunately for him and the Swallows, he proceeded to give up 3 consecutive hits: a 2-run single to Hirokazu Ibata (2-for-5, 2 RBI), a single to Masahiro Araki (3-for-5) and an RBI single to Masahiko Morino (2-for-5, 2 RBI). The same three players would hit consecutive singles again in the 7th to score the Dragons 5th and final run of the game.
The Swallows' attack was a bit more balanced, with 7 different players responsible for 8 runs. And while the fourth inning was big for the Swallows (3 runs on 4 hits), it was the 7th inning that ended up being the straw the broke the Dragons' back: three consecutive singles after a fly-out, followed by 3 consecutive walks with the bases loaded and a sac fly gave the Swallows 4 runs, more than enough to win the game. Jamie D'Antona went 1-for-3 with a double, a run, and 2 RBI. Ryoji Aikawa (2-for-4, R, RBI) was the only player in the line-up with 2 hits. Norichika Aoki went 1-for-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI.
Time: 3h 29m
Hanshin Tigers 7 - Hiroshima Carp 1
Yuya Ando (9 IP, 9 H, 5 K, 2 BB, R, ER) tossed his second consecutive game, this one ending up in the Win column. Kenta Maeda didn't exactly get much help from his defense and ended up tossing his shortest start of the season thus far: 3 IP, 6 H, K, 2 BB, 4 R, 2 ER.
The Carp didn't put all that much pressure on Ando over the first 8 innings of the game, except for perhaps the third inning when they managed to get runners on first and third with one out and Takuro Ishii (0-for-4) ended up tapping into a double play to end the inning. But the Carp managed to apply pressure on Ando in the 9th when they loaded the bases with 2 out (2 singles and a walk). Ando managed to buckle down and while he did allow a run on a single by Masato Akamatsu (3-for-4, RBI), he got the pinch hitter Go Kida to fly out to third to end the threat and the game.
Kodai Sakurai (3-for-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI) and Keiichi Hirano (3-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI) had big nights for the Tigers. Takahiro Arai (2-for-3, BB, 2 R, RBI) appears to have turned a corner and is now 4-for-11 over his last three games. Tomoaki Kanemoto went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Maeda has now lost 4 games in a row.
Time: 2h 47m
Nippon Ham Fighters 7 - Rakuten Eagles 0
Kohei Hasebe continues to struggle with consistency, this time giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits, 4 strike outs, and a walk over 6.1 innings. Brian Sweeney finally picked up his first win of the season in tossing his best game of the season: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 K, BB, HBP, 0 R.
The Fighters jumped on Hasebe in the first innings and scored 2 quick runs on 3 doubles. They scored another run in the fourth on 2 hits and exploded for four more runs in the 7th, with the help of 2 walks and an error. Atsunori Inaba (3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 4 RBI) powered the offense; Kensuke Tanaka went 2-for-4 with a double and 2 runs scored.
Despite collecting 8 hits (and 2 walks and an HBP), the Eagles could not get a single run across the plate. The Eagles did have a number of chances to score some runs: runners on first and second with only 1 out (the only thing they managed to do was move the lead runner over to third on a fly ball to center) in the first; runners on first and third in the 5th with 2 outs; and runners on first and second with 2 out in the 9th. Rick Short had a nice night, going 3-for-4 with 2 doubles.
Daisuke Kusano went 1-for-3 with an HBP and extended his hitting streak to 20. ... Takeshi Yamasaki was thrown out of the game for arguing with ball and strike calls in the fourth inning.
Time: 3h 9m
Seibu Lions 3 - Orix Buffaloes 1
The Buffaloes are reeling. And a lot of it started when Alex Cabrera was taken off the active roster on April 24th (9-8 before and 5-12 since). To make matters worse, Tuffy Rhodes suffered a broken right hand after getting hit by a pitch on Wednesday and will require at least 2 months for a full recovery.
And so the pressure was on Chihiro Kaneko, a winner in his last 2 starts (4 ER over 17.1 IP). Unfortunately, that modest winning streak came to an abrupt end: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 5 BB, 6 R, 6 ER. Fumiya Nishiguchi tossed his best (and longest) game of the season for the win: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 4 BB, 0 R. Chikara Onodera gave the Lions a bit of a scare by giving up a run on 4 hits in the 9th, but managed to buckle down for his 3rd save of the season.
In a day where the Lions scored all three of their runs on home runs, Takeya Nakamura's (1-for-4) bat was held to a single. The three home runs came off the bats of G.G. Sato (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) in the 2nd, Yasuyuki Kataoka (3-for-4, HR, R, RBI) in the 5th, and Hiram Bocachica (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) in the 7th.
The Buffaloes may have only pushed 1 run across the plate, but they did collect 9 hits and 4 walks. And they also managed to get 2 runners on base in 5 different innings (first and second, 2 outs in the first; first and third with 1 out in the second and ended on a double play that was the result of a runner not being able to get back to first on a fly ball out to right; second and third with 1 out in the third; first and third with 2 outs in the seventh, and ninth where they managed to push a run across the plate but had the inning end prematurely on a bad-baserunning mistake), but only capitalized once. Naoyuki Ohmura (2-for-5, 2B), Shinji Shimoyama (2-for-3, BB, R), and Mitsutaka Goto (2-for-4) finished the game with 2 hits a piece.
The Buffaloes have now lost 7 straight.
Time: 2h 34m
Softbank Hawks 5 - Chiba Lotte Marines 4
The Marines appeared to have this game in the books when they entered the bottom of the 9th with a 4-2 lead. But Tadahiro Ogino struggled mightly and surrendered three consecutive hits: a single by Hiroki Kokubo (1-for-4, R), a game-tying 2-run homer to Yuya Hasegawa (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI), and a game-winning solo shot to Hidenori Tanoue (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI).
Hiroyuki Kobayashi (6.1 IP, 5 H, 5 K, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) got the start for the Marines and was in line for his first win of the seaseon, but ended up with a no decision. Shota Ohba (4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 4 R, 4 ER), in his first start since returning to the parent club, was let off the hook. Brian Falkenborg picked up the win in relief, his first of the season.
Kazuya Fukuura went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and 2 RBI. Saburo Ohmura (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 4th. Tadahito Iguchi went 0-for-4 with a GIDP and 2 strike outs.
Ohba appears to be heading back to Ni-gun again after this start. ... Tanoue hit the first pitch he saw for a home run in the bottom of the 9th.
Time: 2h 46m