My sister and my nephew are in town for the next few weeks and Mike has graciously volunteered some of his time to help me cover 3 games out of the daily NPB schedule. For the next three days, Mike will be covering the CL games while I cover the PL games (after that, we'll be putting together a rotating schedule since inter-league play will begin). You will be able to read his coverage of the CL games at SimCentral's Baseball News and More section.
Softbank Hawks - Rakuten Eagles
Lotte Marines 8 - Seibu Lions 5
Both teams banged out 10 hits a piece, but the Marines managed to score 3 more runs than the Lions, thanks largely in part to a 3-run first that got it's start when Masamitsu Hirano loaded the bases with 2 walks and an HBP, then surrendered a single to Tadahito Iguchi (1-for-4, BB, R, RBI) before recording the first two outs of the innings on two sac flies that scored 2 more runs. In all, 5 of the 8 runs the Marines scored were scored by runners that either reached base via walk or by HBP.
Tomoya Satozaki went 2-for-2 with an HBP, 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and 4 RBI. Shoitsu Ohmatsu (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI) and Toshiaki Imae (2-for-2, BB, 2 RBI) also picked up 2 hits for the Marines.
G.G. Sato (3-for-4, 2B, 2 R) led the Lions with 3 hits in four trips to the plate; Kenta Matsuzaka (1-for-1, HR, R, 3 RBI) entered the game as a defensive replacement for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 6th and smacked his first homer of the season, a 3-run shot in the top of the 8th.
Hirano (2 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 3 BB, HBP, 5 R, 5 ER) started the game for the Lions and took the loss. Shingo Ono (6 IP, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER) got the start for the Marines and won his second game of the season. Tadahiro Ogino gave up a lead-off single but retired the next three batters in order for his 6th save of the season.
The Lions have now lost 7 straight Sunday games.
Chiba Lotte Marines
Time: 3h 9m
Orix Buffaloes 6 - Nippon Ham Fighters 0
For the first time in 9 games, the Buffaloes managed to get on the board first. And they did in the second on Shinji Shimoyama's (3-for-4, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) 5th home run of the season.
Naoyuki Ohmura went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Both Jose Fernadez (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) and Fumihiro Suzuki (2-for-3, BB, 2B, RBI) picked up 2 hits a piece for the Buffaloes.
The Fighters couldn't really get much going against Atsuhiro Mitsuhara. The Fighters did, however, have someone on base in 7 different innings, but only two of those got to second (one on a double and one advanced on a ground out). Atsunori Inaba was the lone bright spot in the line-up: 2-for-4 with a double.
Mitsuhara (5 IP, 3 H, K, HBP, 0 R) pitched, and started, in his first game of the season and put a stop to a 9-game losing streak. Masaru Takeda (5 IP, 9 H, 2 K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER) had a rough start and got the loss.
Perhaps it was fitting that Mitsuhara managed to end the Buffaloes' currently losing streak, seeing that his last win came in 2005 during his first year in the pros. ... The Fighters were shut-out for the first time this season. ... The Buffaloes have had a different line-up for every game they have played this season.
Time: 2h 49m