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Nippon Ham Fighters 5 - Yokohama Bay Stars 3
If not for a 7th inning that features 3 runs by the Fighters, the Bay Stars may have actually been able to squeak by with a win.
Les Walrond (6.1 IP, 3 H, 5 K, 5 BB, 5 ER, 4 R) got the start for Yokohama and did a fairly decent job through the game's first 6 innings. He did hit control road bumps in the second and third innings that ultimately led to a run scoring in each of the innings, but otherwise managed to settle down after that.
Meanwhile, Tomoya Yagi (6 IP, 6 H, 4 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER) held the Bays Stars to just 3 hits over the first 5 frames. A big double play in the 6th helped keep the inning from spiraling out of control -- instead, Yagi only gave up 2 runs on Shuichi Murata's (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) 10th home run of the season.
With the score knotted at 2 runs a peice, Walrond took the mound in the bottom of the seventh. While Walrond did manage to hold the Fighters to one hit over the first 6 innings, he also walked 4 batters, 2 of which ended up scoring. He started off the bottom of the 7th by striking out Yoshio Itoi (0-for-4) but then gave up a single to Shinya Tsuruoka (1-for-3, R), walked Makoto Kaneko (0-for-1, 2 BB, 2 R), and then surrendered a tie-breaking 2-run triple to Kensuke Tanaka (1-for-3, BB, 3B, R, 2 RBI). Walrond's night ended after that.
The Fighters scored one more run in 7th to take a 5-2 lead into the top of the 8th. The Bay Stars went down in order, as did the Fighters in their half of the 8th. Hisashi Takeda entered the game in the ninth to close out the game, but would surrender an RBI double by Yuta Naito (1-for-1, 2B, RBI) before recording the final out of the inning for his 12th save of the season.
Takahiro Saeki went 2-for-4 with a run scored. ... The run Takeda surrendered was the first run he's surrendered this season. ... Atsunori Inaba was taken out of the game in the third after injuring his right leg while running out a fly ball during his at bat in the first.
Time: 2h 56m
Seibu Lions 4 - Hanshin Tigers 3
After a modest 4 game winning streak, it appears as though the Tigers may have reverted to their norm.
Considering this was Minoru Iwata's (7.2 IP, 6 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) first start since returning from the disabled list, the Tigers should be happy with his performance. Outside of a 2-run homer he surrendered in the bottom of the first to Hiroyuki Nakajima (1-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI) with 1 out, Iwata basically held a powerful Lions offense to a run (which scored on a ground out by Nakajima in the 6th) on 4 hits over the next 7.1 innings of work.
Hideaki Wakui (9 IP, 5 H, 10 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) started for the Lions and picked up his 7th victory of the season. He gave up all three runs within the first 3 innings of the game on a solo shot by Takahiro Arai (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) in the top of the first and a 2-run single to Tomoaki Kanemoto (1-for-4, 2 RBI) in the third after walking two consecutive batters. After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing for Wakui as he scattered only 2 hits (and no walks) over the final 6 innings of the game.
Scott Atchison was saddled with the loss after loading the bases in the ninth on a walk to Hiroshi Hirao (0-for-3, BB), a single to G.G. Sato (1-for-4), and an intentional walk to Tomoaki Sato (0-for-3, IBB). Atchison was then lifted in favor of Jeff Williams. But that didn't stop the bleeding as Williams walked the pinch-hitter Yutaro Ohsaki on 4 straight pitches, forcing the game-ending run to score.
Prior to losting 2 straight, the Tigers were 4-1 in the month of June. ... Takumi Kuriyama went 2-for-2 with a walk, double, and a run scored. ... Craig Brazell went 0-for-4.
Time: 2h 40m
Yomiuri Giants 5 - Orix Buffaloes 1
If the Giants want to get far this season, Seth Greisinger (8 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 2 BB, R, ER) is going to have to be on top of his game. That will become increasingly more important as the season progresses. That Greisinger had a solid start will go a long way towards helping to clear concerns about his effectiveness.
The Giants got on the board first against the Buffaloes, scoring a run in the first on an RBI single by Michihiro Ogasawara (1-for-5, RBI), and 2 runs in the second on a 2-run double by Kazunari Tsuruoka (3-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI); all three runs were scored off Kazuya Motoyanagi (2 IP, 4 H, K, BB, 3 R 3 ER).
The Buffaloes managed to scratch a run against Greisinger in the second (the only inning in which they were able to record 2 hits) when Jose Fernandez (1-for-4, R) scored when Ryota Aikawa (0-for-3) hit into a double play. But that would be all they'd score against Greisinger -- after the run scored, he held the Buffaloes to just 2 hits over his remaining 6.1 innings of work.
The game would remain 2-1 until the top of the 6th when the Giants scored 2 more runs on RBI singles by Shigeyuki Furuki (1-for-3, RBI) and Tetsuya Matsumoto (3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI).
Micheal Nakamura tossed a scoreless 9th. ... The Buffaloes have now gone 8 games without a home run. ... The Buffaloes are still looking for their first victory in the month of June. ... The last time Motoyanagi started a game was on August 9, 2006.
Time: 3h 6m