Yomiuri Giants 4 - Hiroshima Carp 3
W: Shun Tono (3-4; 7.1 IP, 4 H, 9 K, 5 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Sv: Tetsuya Yamaguchi (1)
L: Yuki Saito (4-6; 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
Asides from some control issues, Shun Tono had a solid start against the Carp. Through the first 7 innings of the game, the Carp could only manage 3 hits (and 4 walks), although they did have one very good scoring opportunity in the 5th when got runners on first and third with only 1 out. Unfortunately, Akihiro Higashide (1-for-4) was caught stealing, prior to a walk to Masafumi Suenaga (2-for-2, 2 BB, R), effectively killing the inning. Andy Phillips then grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
The Carp finally got on the board against Tono in the top of the 8th when Phillips (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) nailed 2-run homer in his first game as a Carp. Daisuke Ochi relieved Tono after that and promptly surrendered a solo homer to Kenta Kurihara (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI), cutting the Giants' lead to 1. Ochi then retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Yuki Saito tossed a somewhat similar game to Tono's, limiting the Giants' offense to just 4 hits and 1 walk over the first 6 innings of his start. But then things fell apart for Saito in the 7th: with 2 outs and runners on first and second, he surrendered a run scoring single to Tetsuya Matsumoto (1-for-1, R, RBI). He then walked Michiro Ogasawara to load the bases. Ryuji Yokoyama relieved Saito at that point and then surrendered a 2-run single to Alex Ramirez (1-for-3, 2 RBI) and a 1-run single to Yoshitomo Tani (3-for-4, RBI). The inning came to an end when Takahito Kudo (pinch-runner for Ramirez) was picked off second.
Tetsuya Yamaguchi faced four batters in the 9th for his first save of the season.
The Giants outhit the Carp, 8-5, but both teams left the same number of runners on base, 7. ... Phillips' first 3 ABs went as follows: ground out to third, strike out, ground out to pitcher. Phillips started in left. ... The last time Tono won a start was back on April 17th against the Chunichi Dragons. ... Tono had retired 8 straight batters before surrendering the walk and home run in the 8th.
Time: 2h 51m
Yokohama Bay Stars 3 - Yakult Swallows 2
W: Yuji Yoshimi (1-0; 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Sv: Shun Yamaguchi (7)
L: Yuki Tanaka (2-2; 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
The Swallows put 2 runs on the board in the first on an RBI single by Jamie D'Antona (2-for-3, BB, RBI) and a sac fly by Aaron Guiel (0-for-3, RBI). The Bay Stars responded with a run in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Seiichi Uchikawa (2-for-4, RBI) and then tied the game in the bottom of the 4th on a solo homer by Tatsuya Shimozono (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI).
The deciding inning came in the bottom of the 5th when Yuki surrendered a lead-off single to Kazuya Fujita (1-for-4, R). He then struck out Uchikawa and Shuichi Murata for the first two outs of the inning, but not before throwing a wild pitch that allowed Fujita to advance to third. A single to Takahiro Saeki (1-for-3, RBI) gave the Bay Stars a 1-run lead that the Swallows wouldn't be able to overcome.
The Swallows did have a number of chances earlier in the game to score some runs, like in the top of the third when they had runners on first and second with 2 out, and the top of the 5th when they had a runner on third with 2 outs, but neither Guiel nor Norichika Aoki (0-for-2, 2 BB, R), respectively, could come through with the big.
The Bays Stars outhit the Swallows, 8-6, and left one more runner on base than the Swallows, 6-5. ... The Swallows are now 1-5 against the last place Bay Stars this season. ... The Swallows bullpen retired all 10 batters it faced.
Time: 3h 11m
Chunichi Dragons 5 - Hanshin Tigers 4
W: Nelson Payano (1-0; 2 IP, 0 H, 3 K, BB, 0 R)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (20)
L: Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (5-5; 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 K, BB, 5 R, 5 ER)
The Tigers scored a run in the first on an RBI single by Tomoaki Kanemoto (1-for-4, RBI). They tacked on 3 more runs in the second on a 2-run double by Norihiro Akahoshi (1-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI) and an RBI single by Takahiro Arai (1-for-4, RBI), effectively knocking Dragons' starter Daisuke Yamai (1.2 IP, 6 H, K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER) out of the game. But the Dragons' bullpen wouldn't be so accommodating: from the last out of the second inning, the Dragons' bullpen set down 14 consecutive Tigers. And after walking the 15th Tiger, a double play quickly erased the base-runner and ended the 7th. An HBP to lead-off the 8th didn't amount to anything as the next three batters were retired in order.
Meanwhile, Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi retired the first 9 consecutive Dragons to start the inning, making it appear as though the Tigers were well on their way to a victory. The 2 consecutive singles he surrendered to start the fourth, that ultimately led to a run on a sac fly by Masahiko Morino (0-for-3, RBI), only appeared to be a slight bump in the road. When he surrendered 2 consecutive singles to start the 5th, but then managed to wiggle out of the inning without giving up any runs, it appeared that luck was on the side of the Tigers. But all of that came crashing down in the 6th when Shimoyanagi loaded the bases on 2 hits and a walk and then surrendered a grand slam to Atsushi Fujii (2-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBI) to give the Dragons a 5-4.
Hitoki Iwase entered the game in the top of the 9th for the Dragons and surrendered a lead-off single to Yudai Sakurai (1-for-2), but then retired the next three batters in order to record his 20th save of the year.
Both teams collected 7 hits and left 5 runners on base. ... The Dragons surpassed the 1 million mark in attendance: 1,027,457.
Time: 3h 18m
Nippon Ham Fighters 3 - Rakuten Eagles 1
W: Keisaku Itokazu (1-for-3; 6 IP, 2 H, 3 K, BB, R, ER)
Sv: Hisashi Takeda (14)
L: Kohei Hasebe (4-6; 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 4 BB, 3 R, 2 ER)
Kohei Hasebe had control problems from the start, giving up 2 walks in the first, including a lead-off walk to Kensuke Tanaka (1-for-3, 2 BB, R, RBI) to start the game. And it was Tanaka that came around to score on Terrmel Sledge's (2-for-3, 2 RBI) single to right to give the Fighters a 1-0 lead.
Takeshi Yamasaki (2-for-3, HR, R, RBI) hit a solo homer in the top of the second to tie the game at 1. But 2 innings later, in the bottom of the 4th, the Fighters broke the tie on an RBI single by Tanaka. Another run in the bottom of the 5th, on a sac fly by Sledge, gave the Fighters a 3-1.
Other than the home run by Yamasaki, the Eagles offense never really managed to get anything going against Itokazu and the three other relievers that followed. The Eagles best chance probably came in the 4th when Makoto Kosaka singled to start the inning and moved over to second on a grounder to short. But Daisuke Kusano struck out on 5 pitches and Yamasaki grounded out to short to end the inning.
Hisashi Takeda faced 4 batters in the 9th for his 14th save of the season.
The Ham Fighters outhit the Eagles, 9-3 and left 14 runners on base while the Eagles left 3. ... Itokazu finally picked up his first win in his 6th start. ... Yamasaki homered in his second straight game. He is now also 12 homers away from 350 and 8 hits away from 1,500.
Time: 3h 16m
Chiba Lotte Marines 8 - Seibu Lions 6
W: Brian Sikorski (3-1; 2 IP, H, 4 K, BB, R, ER)
Sv: Tadahiro Ogino (8)
L: Tomoki Hoshino (0-1; 1 IP, 2 H, 0 K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
Lots of offense on both sides of the diamond, but the excitement hit it's peak over the last 4 innings of the game, starting from the 8th with the Marines' holding a 3-2 lead over the Lions.
After a pitching change brought Tetsuya Iwasaki into the game to start the top of the 8th, Tadahito Iguchi (1-for-3, HBP, BB, HR, 2 R, RBI) led off the inning with a solo homer to put the Marines up by 2. The Marines brought in Yoshihito Ito to start the bottom of the 8th, but after striking out Hiroyuki Nakajima (2-for-5, BB, R, RBI) to start the inning, he gave up a solo home run to Takeya Nakamura (2-for-6, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) and a double to Yoshihito Ishii (1-for-4, 2B, R). He followed that up by striking out G.G. Sato (1-for-4, RBI) for the second out of the inning, but then surrendered a game-tying RBI single to Yutaro Ohsaki (1-for-5, RBI).
The Lions brought in Chikara Onodera in the 9th to protect the tie, but he gave up the lead on a 2-out, RBI single to Shoitsu Ohmatsu (1-for-5, RBI). But the game was far from over. With Brian Sikorski on the mound for the Marines in the bottom of the 9th to close out the game, Yasuyuki Kataoka (2-for-6, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI) nailed a game-tying home run and put the game into extra innings.
Neither team would score in the 10th, but the Marines would deliver a jarring blow off Tomoki Hoshino in the top of the 11th on a 2-out, 3-run homer by Saburo (2-for-5, BB, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) that put Lotte out in front, 8-5. In the bottom of the inning, with runners on first and second, Nakajima hit a 2-out single to bring the Lions within 2 runs of re-tying the game. But Tadahito Ogino got Nakamura to strike out to end the game.
Both teams left 10 men on base, but the Lions outhit the Marines, 12-11. ... The Lions have now lost the last five games that Nakamura has homered in.
Time: 4h 20m
Softbank Hawks 13 - Orix Buffaloes 2
W: Kenji Ohtonari (3-3; 8 IP, 6 H, 6 K, BB, HBP, R, ER)
L: Kazuki Kondo (3-6; 2 IP, 8 H, 0 K, BB, 6 R, 6 ER)
Tough night for the the Buffaloes and Kazuki Kondo. He allowed the first 5 batters (Yuichi Honda led off with a triple, Munenori Kawasaki singled him home, Jose Ortiz singled to center, Nobuhiko Matsunaka walked to load the bases, and Hiroki Kokubo drove in 2 runs with a single to left) to reach base to start the game and allowed 4 runners to cross the plate. Kondo then gave up a 2-out, 2-run homer to Ortiz (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) in the bottom of the second. Hidetaka Kawagoe entered the game for the Buffaloes in the bottom of the third, but he couldn't stop the bleeding: he gave up a solo home run to Hitoshi Tamura (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI), giving the Hawks an 7-0 lead in just 3 innings.
The Buffaloes would finally get on the board in the top of the fourth after Tomotaka Sakaguchi (2-for-5, 3B, R) led off the inning with a triple and followed by an RBI double off the bat of Keiji Ohbiki (1-for-4, 2B, RBI).
Neither team would score until the bottom of the 8th when the Buffaloes exploded for 6 more runs off Kazuya Motoyanagi. And it all start with a lead-off double by Tamura that ballooned to the next 5 batters reaching base: a walk to Yuya Hasegawa (2-for-3, BB, R, RBI), a 2-run triple by Nobuhiro Matsuda (1-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI), an RBI single by Hidenori Tanoue (2-for-4, RBI), a walk to Honda (2-for-3, BB, 3B, 2 R), and an RBI single by Kawasaki (3-for-5, 3 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI). When the inning finally came to an end, the Hawks were up 13-1.
The Buffaloes scored their second and final run in the top of the 9th when Koji Yamasaki walked with the bases loaded.
The Hawks outhit the Buffaloes, 16-7, but only left 4 runners on base (the Buffaloes left 8 on base). ... The Hawks surpassed the 1 million mark in attendance: 1,002,507. ... This was Kondo's shortest start of his career (2 IP). ... The 13 runs the Hawks surrendered are a season high.
Time: 3h 18m