Yomiuri Giants 7 - Yakult Swallows 2
W: Dicky Gonzalez (7-1; 5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
L: Shohei Tateyama (8-1; 6 IP, 14 H, 3 K, BB, HBP, 7 R, 6 ER)
Shohei Tateyama was bound to get hit sooner or later. Too bad for the Swallows that it happened sooner, rather than later.
While the Giants couldn't score a runner on third with 1 out in the top of the first, they did plate 2 runs in the bottom of the second on consecutive RBI singles by Dicky Gonzalez (1-for-2, RBI) and Hayato Sakamoto (3-for-4, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI). The Giants then left runners on first and second in the bottom of the third before scoring 2 more runs in the bottom of the fourth on an HBP and a sac bunt, followed by 4 consecutive singles. A solo homer by Seung-Yeop Lee (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) in the bottom of the 5th put the Giants up 5-1 before the Giants once against scored 2 runs in their third consecutive even-numbered inning, this time on a 2-run homer by Michihiro Ogasawara (2-for-5, HR, R, 2 RBI).
The Swallows couldn't get much going against Gonzalez, striking out in order in the first and leaving a runner on second with 2 outs in the second. Yakult did manage to score a run in the top of the third when they Shinichi Takeuchi (2-for-5, R), Hiroyasu Tanaka (3-for-4, BB), and Norichika Aoki (1-for-5, R, RBI) hit three consecutive singles with 2 outs.
Gonzalez would retire the next 7 consecutive batters before giving up a lead-off single to Tanaka. After retiring the next two batters, Gonzalez surrendered another run on 2 consecutive singles to Aaron Guiel (1-for-4) and Shinya Miyamoto (3-for-4, 2B, RBI). Kiyoshi Toyoda retired the final batter of the inning and the Giants' bullpen held the Swallows to 2 hits over the next two innings.
In the top of the 9th with Daisuke Ochi on the mound, the Swallows tried to get a rally going with 2 outs: Takeuchi and Tanaka hit consecutive singles setting the table for Norichika Aoki. But Aoki ended up flying out to left to end the rally and the game.
The Swallows' collected 11 hits and left 10 men on base. The Giants collected 15 hits and left 8 men on base. ... Tateyama's consecutive winning streak ended at 14 games. ... The Swallows have now lost 9 games in a row at the Tokyo Dome (going back to last season).
Time: 3h 16m
Hanshin Tigers 9 - Yokohama Bay Stars 4
W: Yuya Ando (5-5; 5 IP, 6 H, 4 K, BB, 3 R, ER)
L: Les Walrond (3-7; 3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 4 BB, 5 R, 4 ER)
The Bay Stars did pretty good job keeping up with the Tigers offense over the first 3 innings, but better pitching by the Tigers stopped the trend from continuing after that as Hanshin downs Yokohama, 9-4.
Les Walrond didn't provide any relief to the Bay Stars' offense, giving up a 2-run single to Craig Brazell (4-for-5, R, 3 RBI) in the bottom of the first immediately after the offense managed to give Yokohama a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on three consecutive singles by Kazuya Fujita (1-for-3, 2 R), Seiichi Uchikawa (2-for-4) and Shuichi Murata (1-for-4, 2 RBI).
Another run in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Keisuke Kano (2-for-4, IBB, HR, R, 2 RBI) gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead. The Bay Stars would manage to come back and tie the score at 3 in the top of the third on ground out by Murata and an RBI double by Takahiro Saeki (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) with a runner on third and 2 out.
But after that, the Bay Stars offense wouldn't be able to push another run across the plate until the top of the 9th, and by then it was alreay too late: the Tigers pushed across 2 runs in the bottom of the 4th on solo home run by Kano and a sac fly by Takahiro Arai (1-for-3, BB, 3 R, RBI); a run in the bottom of the 5th on a pinch-hit RBI single by Ikuro Katsuragi (1-for-1, RBI) with runners on first and third and 2 out; 2 runs in the bottom of the 6th on RBI singles by Brazell and Takashi Toritani (2-for-4, BB, R, 2 RBI); and finally their 9th run in the bottom of the 8th on another RBI single by Toritani with runners on first and second with 2 out.
The Bay Stars almost got something in the top of the 8th when Uchikawa led off the inning with a single, but Murata promptly killed any hopes of a big inning when he grounded into a double play. Yuki Yoshimura (2-for-4, BB, R, RBI) singled home the Bay Stars' final run in the top of the 9th.
The Bay Stars left 7 runners on base and collected 10 hits. The Tigers banged out 15 hits and left 11 runners on base. ... Hirotaka Egusa struck out all 6 batters that he faced. ... If you include the 2 strike outs Ando finished his outing with, along with the 6 strike outs that Egusa recorded, the Tigers' pitchers actually had a string of 8 consecutive strike outs against the Bay Stars.
Time: 3h 28m
Chunichi Dragons 3 - Hiroshima Carp 2
W: Takuya Asao (5-5; 1 IP, H, K, 0 R)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (17)
L: Katsuhiro Nagakawa (1-4; 1 IP, 3 H, BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Colby Lewis (7 IP, 2 H, 5 K, BB, R, ER) got the start for the Carp and did a great job, scattering 2 hits over 7 innings of work while only giving up a run. The one run he gave up came in the top of the second when Tony Blanco (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) led off the inning with his 20th home run of the season. Lewis then retired the next 14 batters in a row before giving up a walk and single. But that would be all he'd give up as he retired the next 4 batters in a row before getting taken out of the game.
On the other side of the diamond, Kenta Asakura (6.1 IP, 7 H, 6 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER) started for the Dragons and held the Carp to 2 hits over his first 5 innings of work. But lead-off home runs in the 6th and 7th to Colby Lewis (1-for-2, HR, R, RBI) and Kenta Kurihara (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), respectively, put the Dragons down by a run.
The Carp turned to Katsuhiro Nagakawa to close the doors in the top of the 9th with a 2-1 lead. But things went horribly bad for Nagakawa: he walked the lead-off batter and then surrendered a 2-run homer to Masahiko Morino (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) to give the Dragons a 3-2 lead.
Hitoki Iwase tossed the bottom of the 9th and faced 4 batters to rack up his 17th save of the season.
The Carp collected more hits than the Dragons (9-6) and left 6 runners on base (vs. the 4 the Dragons left on the base).
Time: 2h 54m
Seibu Lions 10 - Softbank Hawks 4
W: Hideaki Wakui (8-3; 8 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 2 BB, R, ER)
L: Yoshiaki Fujioka (2-2; 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 7 R, 7 ER)
Things started off innocently enough for Yoshiaki Fujioka and the Softbank Hawks. After giving up a lead-off single to Yasuyuki Kataoka (1-for-2, BB) and then catching him on a stolen base attempt, Fujioka retired the next 8 batters in a row. Then things completely fell apart for the 24-year-old: he walked Kataoka to start off the inning, but managed to pick him off for the first out; but then surrendered consecutive singles to Takumi Kuriyama (3-for-5, 2B, 3 R, RBI) and Hiroyuki Nakajima (1-for-4, BB, 2 R) before moving them up a base on a wild pitch; a walk to Takeya Nakamura (0-for-2, 2 BB) loaded the bases with only 1 out; a Yoshihito Ishii (1-for-2, BB, 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI) double cleared the bases and gave the Lions a 3-0 lead; G.G. Sato (1-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI) struck out; Yutaro Ohsaki (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI) pushed Ishii across the plate for the 4th run of the inning; and Tatsuyuki Uemoto (0-for-2, BB) grounded out to short to end the inning.
Fujioka would give up 3 more runs in the bottom of the 5th before giving way to Shinsuke Ogura with 2 outs. Appearing in his first game of the season, Ogura faced 5 batters and gave up 2 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs (both earned). Makoto Sato replaced Ogura and retired the first batter he faced to finally end the inning. The Lions collected 4 hits (3 of them doubles) and 4 walks and sent 11 batters to the plate.
The Lions made it 10 runs on a sac fly by Ishii in the bottom of the 6th.
Hideaki Wakui had a much easier time dealing with the Softbank, facing the mininum though 3. Wakui gave up a lead-off walk in the top of the 4th, and a sac bunt moved the runner into scoring position with 1 out. But Wakui bore down and retired the next two batters. The Hawks would get another runner in scoring position in the top of the 5th when Hiroki Kokubo (3-for-3, BB, 2B, R, RBI) doubled to start the inning and moved up a base on a fly out to center. But once again, Wakui bore down and retired the next two batters, both on strike outs.
Wakui's luck would run out in the top of the 6th when Jose Ortiz (1-for-4, RBI) finally put a chink in Wakui's armor by hitting an RBI single with a runner on second and 2 out. But that would be it for the Hawks against Wakui. The Hawks almost did score a run in the top of the 7th when Kokubo tried to score on a double by Yuya Hasegawa (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI), but he ended up being thrown out at home plate on a nice block by Ginjiro.
The offense finally started heated up in the top of the 9th against Jun Yamamoto when they collected 5 consecutive hits for 3 runs: a double by Nobuhiko Matsunaka (1-for-4, 2B, R); an RBI single by Kokubo; a double by Hitoshi Tamura (1-for-4, 2B, R); a 2-run infield single by Hasegawa (the ball bounced off the pitcher and rolled into the outfield); and a single by Nobuhiro Matsuda (1-for-4). Yamamoto was lifted after that and Tomoki Hoshino ended the game by getting pinch-hitter Satoru Morimoto to ground into a double-play.
Both team collected 10 hits and left 5 runners on base. ... The Lions were on a 5-game losing streak prior to their win tonight.
Time: 2h 52m
Nippon Ham Fighters 5 - Chiba Lotte Marines 0
W: Yu Darvish (10-2; 8 IP, 2 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 0 R)
L: Hiroyuki Kobayashi (1-5; 7 IP, 5 H, 10 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Great game by Yu Darvish as he scattered 2 hits over 8 innings of work. He retired 15 straight Marines prior to giving up 2 consecutive singles to Saburo (1-for-3) and Tasuku Hashimoto (1-for-3) in the bottom of the 8th.
If not for the fact that Hiroyuki Kobayashi was pitching against Darvish, he may have been able to come away with a victory. Instead the solo homer he gave up in the first inning to Hichori Morimoto (1-for-3, 2 BB, HR, 2R, RBI) and a run scoring single in the top of the 7th to Makoto Kaneko (3-for-4, RBI) loomed much larger.
It also didn't help the Marines' cause when the bullpen surrendered three more runs in the top of the 8th on an RBI single by Atsunori Inaba (1-for-4, IBB, R, RBI) and a 2-run homer by Terrmel Sledge (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI).
The Marines only managed to collect 2 hits and left 4 runners on base. The Fighters collected 9 hits and left 8 runners on base. ... Darvish now leads both leagues with 10 victories. ... Morimoto's home run in the first was the first of his season.
Time: 3h 5m
Orix Buffaloes 3 - Rakuten Eagles 1
W: Chihiro Kaneko (8-4; 9 IP, 4 H, 6 K, 3 BB, R, ER)
L: Masahiro Tanaka (8-2; 8 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
The Eagles pushed a run across in the top of the first after a walk to Naoto Watanabe (0-for-3, BB, R), a sac bunt by Yosuke Hiraishi (0-for-3), and an RBI single by Masato Nakamura (2-for-4, RBI). Unfortunately for Masahiro Tanaka, that would be all the Eagles' offense would be able to muster over the next 8 innings.
The Buffaloes offense couldn't get much of anything going against Tanaka either, scattering 2 hits over the first 5 innings. But Jose Fernandez (1-for-4, R, RBI) drove in a game-tying run with an RBI single in the 6th and Greg LaRocca (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) followed with a 2-run homer to left, giving the Buffaloes a 3-1 lead.
Both pitchers went the distance.
The Buffaloes out hit the Eagles, 6-4. However, the Eagles left 5 runners on base to the Buffaloes' 4. ... Norihiro Nakamura was in the starting lineup batting 7th and went 0-for-3 with 2 strike outs.
Time: 2h 29m