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Rakuten Eagles 9 - Yokohama Bay Stars 0
W: Hisashi Iwakuma (6-4; 6 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 0 R)
L: Daisuke Miura (6-4; 5 IP, 10 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 7 R, 7 ER)
Hisasahi Iwakuma tossed 6 shut-out inning for the Eagles and held the Bay Stars to just 4 hits. Takahiro Saeki (2-for-3, 2B) was the only batter in the line-up that was able to reach Iwakuma for 2 hits.
Daisuke Miura was somewhat effective for the Bay Stars, giving up 4 hits and a run over the first 4 innings of the game. But things suddenly fell about for the ace when he surrendered a lead-off homer to Takeshi Yamasaki (3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI) in the 5th, retired the next batter, but then walked and gave up 2 consecutive singles for 2 more runs.
Things got even worse in the 6th as Miura gave up 3 consecutive hits to start the inning, with the third hit being an RBI double by Yosuke Hiraishi (1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI). Miura was lifted from the game and replaced by Kentaro Takasaki, but he did nothing to help stop the bleeding: he gave up a 2 RBI single to Akihito Fujii (3-for-3, BB, 3 R, 2 RBI) and an RBI single to Masato Nakamura (3-for-5, R).
The Eagles would score one more run on Yamasaki's second home run of the game in the bottom of the 7th off Takahiro Matsuka, the third and final reliever for Yokohama.
Daisuke Kusano went 2-for-4 with a walk. ... It was Yamasaki's first multi-home run game of the season. ... Iwakuma's last win came on May 16th against the Softbank Hawks when he tossed a complete game. Interestingly enough, he suffered three straight losses after that and gave up 15 runs (14 earned) over 18 innings of work during that stretch. ... The Eagles have no won three in a row after going 1-6 to start June. ... The Bay Stars only have 1 victory in the month of June and have fallen 20 games under .500.
Time: 3h 20m
Chiba Lotte Marines 4 - Hanshin Tigers 1
W: Hiroyuki Kobayashi (1-4; 8 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 3 BB, R, ER)
Sv: Brian Sikorski (1; 1 IP, H, K, 0 BB, 0 R)
L: Jeff Williams (1-1; .1 IP, 0 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
It was a pretty good pitcher's dual at Chiba, with both starters holding their opponents to 1 run over their outings.
Hiroyuki Kobayashi scattered a hit and 2 walks over the first 3 innings of the game before allowing a solo home run to Craig Brazell (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) in the top of the 4th. He would give up a double and a single after the home run in the fourth, a walk in the 6th, and a single in the 8th, but that would be all the Tigers would be able to muster off the righty.
Yuya Ando (7 IP, 7 H, 6 K, BB, R, ER), starting for the Tigers, retired the first 11 consecutive batters before surrendering a walk to Shoitsu Ohmatsu (1-for-3, BB) in the bottom of the fourth. But it wasn't until the bottom of the fifth that the Marines scored their first run of the game on a solo home run by Tomoya Satozaki (1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI).
The game would remain tied at 1 going into the bottom of the 8th when Jeff Williams entered the game and walked 2 of the three batters he faced before being replaced by Scott Atchison. But the die was cast, both walks that Williams gave up scored when Atchison gave up a 2-run triple to the first batter he faced: Naotaka Takehara (1-for-1, 3B, 2 RBI). A sac fly by Satozaki pushed across the fourth and final Marines' run of the game.
Two Tigers' players recorded 4 of the 6 hits they collected: Keiichi Hirano (2-for-4) and Ikuro Katsuragi (2-for-4, 2B). ... Craig Brazell has now hit a home run in each of the last three games and is 4-for-10 with a double, 3 HRs, and 4 RBI over that stretch. ... The loss put the Tigers 9 games under .500.
Chiba Lotte Marine
Time: 3h 1m
Softbank Hawks 5 - Yomiuri Giants 1
W: Toshiya Sugiuchi (6-1; 6 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
L: Shun Tono (2-4; 9 IP, 4 H, 7 K, BB, HBP, R, 0 ER)
It's becoming increasingly more and more difficult to watch Shun Tono make his starts on the mound for the Giants. Although on this night, he was simply out-performed by Toshiya Sugiuchi, who suffered a momentary lapse of control in the first inning that allowed a run to score on an error, a walk, a single, and a run-scoring HBP to Alex Ramirez (0-for-3, HBP, RBI), but then retired 14 straight hitters until he gave up a lead-off single to Takahiro Suzuki (1-for-4) in the 6th.
The Giants would get 2 more hits off Sugiuchi over the next 3 innings, but would fail to come up with the big hit to get any more runs home.
On the other side of the diamond, Tono pitched in and out of trouble over the first 6 innings of the game (of note, he had a runner on third with only 1 out in the bottom of the 6th and managed to keep the Hawks from scoring), and looked to be handling himself well in the 7th after retiring the lead-off, Nobuhiko Matsunaka (0-for-2, HBP, BB, R), on a fly-out to center. But a walk and a hit later, Tono's night was done and Tatsunori Hara turned to the bullpen to try and get out of the inning without giving up any runs.
First into the game was Tetsuya Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi has been relied on quite a bit by Hara on these situations this season and has done a pretty good job of coming through more often than not. But not on this night: he hit the first batter he faced and then gave up a game-tying RBI single to Nobuhiro Matsuda (1-for-3, RBI). Hara had seen enough and dipped into the bullpen again, this time turning to Kiyoshi Toyoda.
But Toyoda would allow another run to score on a ground out by Hidenori Tanoue (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) before finally retiring the third batter he faced for the final out of the inning. Micheal Nakamura then came in to pitch the 8th and promptly surrendered a lead-off homer to Jose Ortiz (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) before hitting the next two batters he faced. An RBI double to Hitoshi Tamura (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI) immediately after that gave the Hawks a 4-1. Nakamura appeared to settle a bit after that, retiring the next two batters on a strike out and ground out, but another single pushed home another run and the Hawks were well on their way to a 5-1 victory over the Giants.
The Giants are now on a three game slide. During the slide, the Giants have gone 22-for-100 at the plate and have left 19 runners on base while scoring 4 runs -- they normally average about 4.4 runs a game. ... Hayato Sakamoto went 0-for-4. ... Sugiuchi needed 121 pitches for his complete game.
Time: 2h 59m