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Nippon Ham Fighters 9 - Yokohama Bay Stars 3
This game was pretty much over by the end of the third, when the Fighters sent 11 batters to the plate and scored 7 runs on 2 walks, 4 singles, a double, and a home run.
Yasuhiro Oyamada (2.1 IP, 5 H, 0 K, 2 BB, HBP, 6 R, 6 ER) made his first start (and appearance) of the season for the Bay Stars and last only 2.1 innings. He gave up a run in the first on an RBI single by Shinji Takahashi (2-for-3, BB, R, RBI) and then 5 runs in the third. Oyamada gave up 2 consecutive singles to start the inning. A sac bunt moved the runners up a base and a single by Yoshio Itoi (3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI) pushed another run across the plate. A walk to Takahashi loaded the bases and a balk pushed home the second run of the inning. Oyamada issued another walk before being replaced by Yuji Yoshimi (1.2 IP, 3 H, BB, 2 R, ER). The first batter Yoshimi faced reaached base on an error while plating the third run of the inning. A grand slam to Jason Botts (1-for-3, HBP, R, 4 RBI) cleared the bases. After giving up a double to Shota Ohno (2-for-4, 2B, RBI), Yoshimi would settle down and get out of the inning without any further damage.
The Bay Stars finally got on the board in the top of the 6th when they touched up the Fighters' starter Brian Sweeney (5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) for 3 runs: a walk followed by a single to Seiichi Uchikawa (2-for-4, R) put runners on first and second; Shuichi Murata's (1-for-4, 2B, R, RBU) double chased home the first run of the inning; a ground out to first scored the second run; and an RBI single by Yuki Yoshimura (1-for-4, RBI) plated the final and third run of the inning.
The Fighters would push 1 more run across in the bottom of the 7th when Eiichi Koyano (1-for-3, BB, 2 R) singled to start the inning, stole first and moved up to third on a bad throw by the catcher, and then finally scored on a single by Ohno.
The Bay Stars are now 1-6 in the month of June. ... Dan Johnson went 2-for-4. ... Prior to his victory tonight, Sweeney had gone 3 starts without a win.
Time: 3h 16m
Seibu Lions 6 - Hanshin Tigers 5
Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (2 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 5 R, ER) has been pretty good about staying away from the big innings and keeping the Tigers in most of the games he starts. But unfortunately for the Tigers, that wasn't the case Thurdsday night at the Seibu Dome. Truth be told, it wasn't all Shimoyanagi's fault, but he certainly didn't help himself any.
In the bottom of the 2nd after the Tigers finished scoring a run to give themselves an early 1-0 lead, Shimoyanagi walked the lead-off batter and then surrendered a single to G.G. Sato (1-for-3, BB, R). An error allowed Hiroshi Hirao to reach and load the bases with no outs. A ground out to the pitcher tied the game at 1. Another walk loaded the bases and Takumi Kuriyama's (2-for-4, 3B, R, 3 RBI) triple emptied the bases and gave the Lions a 4-1 lead. A single by Hiroyuki Nakajima (2-for-4, R, RBI) plated Kuriyama and the inning finally came to an when Takeya Nakamura (1-for-4) flew out to center.
The Tigers came back with 2 runs in the top of the third on Takahiro Arai's (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) 8th home run of the season with Norihiro Akahoshi (2-for-4, R) on first. The Lions would score their final run of the game in the 5th on a wild pitch by Kenta Abe -- this run would later come back to haunt the Tigers.
A 2-run shot by Craig Brazell (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) in the top of the 6th, off Lions' starter John Wasdin (6 IP, 8 H, 3 K, BB, 5 R, 5 ER), put the Tigers to within 1 of tying the game. But the Seibu bullpen slammed the doors shut after that, facing the minimum 9 batters over the final 3 frames. Chikara Onodera recorded his 6th save of the season with his perfect 9th.
The Tigers have dropped 3 in a row and are now 4-4 in the month of June. ... Shinjiro Hiyama went 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored. ... This (2 innings) was Shimoyanagi's shortest outing of the season.
Time: 3h 4m
Orix Buffaloes 4 - Yomiuri Giants 2
Dicky Gonzalez (8 IP, 8 H, 3 K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER) was going for his 7th straight victory to start the season, but unfortunately on this night, he fell a bit short.
The big blow came in the bottom of the second after Gonzalez surrendered a lead-off single to Jose Fernandez (2-for-3, R) and then struck out the next two batters to face Makoto Shiozaki. Shiozaki, a career .259 hitter with 33 home runs in 3,598 plate appearances, launched the second pitch he saw from Gonzalez for a 2-run homer that gave the Buffaloes a 3-1 lead.
The Buffaloes pushed another run across in the 5th on an RBI double by Tomotaka Sakaguchi (2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI) for their fourth run of the game. A solo home run by Alex Ramirez (3-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) in the top of the 6th off Buffaloes' starter Chihiro Kaneko (6 IP, 8 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) gave the Giants a glimmer of hope, but the Orix bullpen held the Giants to 1 hit over the final 3 innings of the game. Daisuke Kato entered the game in the 9th and recorded his 9th save of the year.
This is the first loss the Giants suffered this season in the month of June. ... The Buffaloes broke out of a 7-game losing streak. ... The Buffaloes finally broke out of their 8-game homerless drought with Shiozaki's 2-run bomb in the second. ... Hayato Sakamoto went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Time: 2h 29m