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Yomiuri Giants 3 - Rakuten Eagles 2
Could there be a pitcher with less luck than Shun Tono? Tono tossed 6 shut-out innings (4 H, 4 K, 5 BB, HBP) and once again could not get a win. Instead it was Daisuke Ochi (the fourth reliever to pitch in the game) that got the win, his fourth of the season.
The Giants did give Tono 2 runs in the bottom of the 4th on a 2-run home run by Shinnosuke Abe (2-for-3, HBP, HR, R, 2 RBI) off Kenta Satake. And up until the top of the 7th, it appeared as though Tono might get his first victory since April 17th. But Micheal Nakamura surrendered 3 straight singles after recording for the first out of the inning on a grounder to second. Kiyoshi Toyoda came in after that and walked the only batter he faced, pushing a run across the plate for the Eagles. Tetsuya Yamaguchi relieved Toyada and allowed the second run to score on a fielder's choice that left everyone safe. But he'd get the next 2 outs without allowing another run to keep the game tied at 2.
The Giants played small ball in the bottom of the 8th after Alex Ramirez (1-for-4, 2B) led off the inning with a double and Yoshiyuki Kamei (1-for-2, BB, 3B, R, RBI) ultimately drove him in with a sac fly to right, to break a 2-2 tie and give the Giants a 3-2 lead. Marc Kroon entered the game in the 9th and almost coughed up a run after letting the first two Eagles he faced get on base with a single and walk. But he bounced back and struck out the next three hitters to end the inning to pick up his 11th save of the season.
Kanehisa Arime started for the Eagles and tossed 3 shut-out innings (4 H, 2 K, 0 BB). Marcus Gwyn surrendered the third run to the Giants in the bottom of the 8th and picked up the loss.
Tono's ERA dropped from 2.25 to 2.03. ... The Eagles have now dropped 4 in a row. ... Daisuke Kusano batted clean-up for the first time in his career and when 2-for-2 with an HBP, 2 walks, and a run scored.
Time: 3h 55m
Chiba Lotte Marines 9 - Yokohama Bay Stars 7
It appeared the Marines had this game in the bag after the first inning, but the Bay Stars battled back and made it a lot closer than it really should have been.
The first inning started off innocently enough for Ryan Glynn with a fly out to left. But aeverything went downhill after that -- Glynn loaded the bases on two consecutive singles and an HBP to Tadahito Iguchi (0-for-2. HBP, 2 BB, R); then walked Tomoya Satozaki (0-for-4,BB, R, RBI) and Benny Agbayani (0-for-3, BB, R, RBI) to force two runs across the plate; the big blow came off the bat of Chase Lambin (1-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBI) on the 7th pitch of the at bat: a grand slam to right that gave the Marines their 6th run with only 1 out in the top of the first. Glynn would get out of the inning without giving up any more runs, but the damage was already done.
The Bay Stars managed to answer back with a run in their half of the first, on a lead-off homer by Tatsuhiko Kinjo (4-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI). The Bay Stars threatened in the second with two consecutive singles to start the inning, but Yoshihisa Naruse got out of the jam with a ground out to short and a GIDP. Yokohama would get around to scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 4th on two solo home runs by Seiichi Uchikawa (3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI) and Takahiro Saeki (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI).
In the 5th inning, both the Fighters and Bay Stars would score a run a piece to make the score 7-4. Yokohama would tack on another run in the bottom of the 6th close within 2 runs. Neither team would score until the top of the 9th.
With a runner on first and 2 out, Shoitsu Ohmatsu (3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI) drilled a 2-run homer off Kimiyasu Kudo to give the Marines a 9-5 lead. Those 2 extra runs would become important as the Bay Stars would quickly put 2 runs up on the board in the bottom of the 9th with two consecutive hits off Brian Sikorski: a lead-off double to Uchikawa and a 2-run shot by Shuichi Murata (2-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI).
Not a particular great start for Naruse (5 IP, 9 H, 3 K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER), but he got the win for the Marines. Glynn (4 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, HBP, 6 R, 6 ER) settled down after the first, but that one inning ended up being too much for the Bay Stars to overcome.
Glynn loses his third game in the row and drops his record to 2-7 on the season. ... The Bay Stars have now lost 7 in a row.
Time: 3h 30m
Hanshin Tigers 4 - Softbank Hawks 3
The Tigers got on the board with 2 quick runs in the first on a walk and three consecutive singles by Tomoaki Kanemoto (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI), Takahiro Arai (1-for-4, RBI), and Craig Brazell (3-for-4, 2B, RBI) off Toshiya Sugiuchi. Sugiuchi would settle down after that and hold the Tigers to 4 hits over the next 5.1 innings.
Meanwhile, the Hawks managed to score 2 runs of their on in the bottom of the second on 2-run homer by Hidenori Tanoue (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) off Atsushi Noumi. Another home run in the top of the 6th, by Hiroki Kokubo (1-for-3, BB, HR, R, RBI) gave the Hawks a 3-2 lead over the Tigers.
The score would remain 3-2 in favor of the Hawks until the bottom of the 9th when pinch-hitter Weichu Lin (1-for-1) and Takashi Toritani (1-for-5, R) led off the inning with two consecutive singles. A walk to Shinjiro Hiyama (0-for-0, BB) after a fly ball out loaded the bases for Kanemoto, who served Takahiro Mahara's first pitch between first and second, scoring 2 runs to give the Tigers a come-from-behind win.
Sugiuchi went 6 innings and gave up 2 runs (both earned) on 7 hits, 5 strike outs and 2 walks over 6 innings. Noumi went 6 innings for the Tigers and gave up 3 run (all earned) on 5 hits, 5 strike outs and 2 walks. Mahara took the loss for the Hawks and Jeff Williams ended up with the win for the Tigers.
Kanemoto now has 4 walk-off hits this season, tying the team record with Koichi Tabuchi and Masashi Takenouchi. ... The home run Tanoue hit was the 9th of the season, tying a career high.
Time: 3h 21m