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Yomiuri Giants 5 - Nippon Ham Fighters 2
The Fighters got on the board first, scoring a run on back-to-back doubles in the top of the second of Tetsuya Utsumi. A walk after that put runners on first and second with only 1 out, but the 8 and 9 batters couldn't get the ball out of the infield and the innings with the Fighters scoring only 1 run. Atsunori Inaba (3-for-4, HR, R, RBI) tacked on another run in the top of the 6th with his 8th home run of the season.
It was in the bottom half of the 6th that the Giants offense finally came alive, after being held by Yu Darvish to just 1 hit over the first 5 frames. After Darvish retired Seung-Yeop Lee on a fly ball to right, he surrendered 5 consecutive singles and resulted in 3 runs for the Giants.
The Fighters actually threatened in the top of the 8th: Inaba and Shinji Takahashi (1-for-4) singled after Jason Botts grounded out to start the inning. Eiichi Koyano (3-for-4, 2B, R) followed with a third consecutive single, but Inaba was thrown out at home for the second out of the inning. Yoshio Itoi (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) grounded out to end the inning.
Darvish (8 IP, 6 H, 6 K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER) went the distance for the Fighters and picked up his 2nd loss of the season. Utsumi (6 IP, 6 H, 5 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER) picked up the win for the Giants and improved his record to 2-3. Marc Kroon came in to pitch the 9th and picked up his 10th save.
Tetsuya Matsumoto (2-for-4, R, RBI) was the lone hitter in the Giants' line-up to record two hits off Darvish. ... Kroon was involved in a run down at second and appeared to have injured his left hand (glove hand) when he came down on it hard. He ended up staying in the game, but it appeared as though his left hand was still in pain as Shinnosuke Abe had to continually lob the ball back to him after each pitch. ... Lee was dropped into the 8 hole because of his recent struggles. The last time he batted 8th was on June 9th, 2005 (when he was with Lotte).
Time: 2h 48m
Seibu Lions 12 - Yokohama Bay Stars 7
The balls were flying in Yokohama: the two teams combined to go yard 8 times.
Seibu Lions (5 home runs, 8 runs)
- Takeya Nakamura hit a 3-run shot in the top of the 1st with no out; off Futoshi Kobayashi.
- Ginjiro hit a lead-off homer in the top of the 2nd; off Kobayashi
- Takumi Kurihara smacked a solo homer 2 outs later; off Kobayashi
- G.G. Sato hit a solo shot in the top of the 8th with 2 outs; off Hiroki Sanada.
- Kurihara hit his second homer of the game, a 2-run shot, in the top of the 9th with 2 out; off Atsushi Kizuka.
The top four batters in the line-up came up big, going a combined 9-for-18 with 2 walks, 2 doubles, 3 home runs, 7 RBI and 10 runs scored. Of note, Takeya Nakamura went 3-for-5 with a double, a homer, 3 runs, and 3 RBI; and Takumi Kurihara went 2-for4 with a walk, 2 homers, 3 runs, and 3 RBI.
Yokohama Bay Stars (3 home runs, 5 runs)
- Seiichi Uchikawa hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 1st with 2 out; off Kazuhisa Ishii.
- Yuki Yoshimura nailed a solo shot in the bottom of the 4th with 2 out; off Ishii.
- Yoshimura hit his second homer of the game, a 3-run shot with 1 out in the bottom of the 8th; off Ryoma Nogami.
Both Yoshimura (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI) and Uchikawa (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) had big games for the Bay Stars.
Ishii (7 IP, 7 H, 7 K, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) picked up a win to push his record to 3-4 on the season. Kobayashi picked up the loss, his 6th, with his worst outing of the season: 3 IP, 7 H, 2 K, BB, 7 R, 7 ER.
The Lions went 14-for-39 and left 3 runners on while the Bay Stars went 10-for-37 and left 4 runners on. ... Tomio Tashiro has now suffered his first 6-game losing streak since taking over for the Bay Stars.
Time: 3h 3m
Hanshin Tigers 7 - Orix Buffaloes 0
Shinobu Fukuhara (9 IP, 5 H, 10 K, BB, 0 R) extended the Tigers winning streak to 3 games by tossing a complete game shut-out for his fourth win of the season. Ryan Vogelsong started the game for the Buffaloes and last only 3.1 innings while giving up 4 runs (all eared) on 8 hits and 4 strike outs.
The Buffaloes were only able to collected 5 hits against Fukuhara over 9 innings and all 5 hits came from the top of the order: Naoyuki Ohmura (2-for-4), Tomotaka Sakaguchi (2-for-4), and Jose Fernandez (1-for-4). The rest of the line-up went 0-for-26 with a walk and 8 strike outs.
Vogelsong was doing a pretty good job keeping the Tigers offense in check over the first two innings of the game. But then things slowly started getting out of hand after that.
The Tigers got on the board in the 3rd with an RBI single by Norihiro Akahoshi (1-for-4, RBI). In the bottom of the 4th, after Vogelsong got the lead-off hitter (Kanemoto) to ground out to short, he proceeded to surrender 5 consecutive singles and gave up 3 runs. His day ended after that and Hidetaka Kawagoe came in and got Takashi Toritani (1-for-5, RBI) to hit into a double play to end the inning.
But Kawagoe would not get away unscathed: in the bottom of the 5th the Tigers scored a run off of him on 2 consecutive singles and a ground out. Takashi Kamoshida entered the game in the bottom of the 6th and promptly walked the first batter he faced. 2 consecutive singles preceeded a double by Toritani, plating 2 more runs for the Tigers.
The Buffaloes have started off the month of June with 4 straight losses. ... The 46,792 was the largest crowd at the Koshien this season. ... The last time Fukuhara tossed a shut out was on March 30, 2008. And the last time he recorded 10+ strike outs was on October 6th, 2004 against the Yakult Swallows. ... Fukuhara struck out 5 straight batters at one point in the game. ... The Tigers have now tossed two consecutive shut-outs. ... The Buffaloes' offense has not been able to score a run over the last 22 innings.
Time: 2h 54m