Hiroshima Carp 2 - Yomiuri Giants 1
W: Takeshi Komatsu (2-0; 7 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 0 BB, HBP, 1 R, 0 ER)
Sv: Katsuhiro Nagakawa (21)
L: Hisanori Takahashi (4-2; 7.1 IP, 8 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Tough loss for Hisanori Takahashi, but the Giants simply could not get any offense going against Takeshi Komatsu, or the Hiroshima bullpen.
Komtasu held the Giants line-up to just 3 hits over the first 4 innings and only gave up a run in the 5th when he hit Seung-Yeop Lee (0-for-3, 1 R) to start the inning, saw him move to second on a ground out by Takuya Kimura (0-for-3), and then gave up what should have been a single to Kazunari Tsuruoka (2-for-3), except Masato Akamatsu couldn't cleanly field the hit and allowed Lee to score from second.
The Giants did manage to string together two consecutive singles in the bottom of the 6th, with 1 out, but Komatsu bore down and got Yoshiyuki Kamei (0-for-3) to foul out and Lee to strike out.
Takahashi didn't make things any easier for the Carp, but he did give up a solo home run to Eishin Soyogi (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) in the second that gave Hiroshima a 1-0 lead, and three consecutive hits in the top of the 8th that allowed the tie-breaking run to score: a double to Shigenobu Shima (1-for-1, 2B), a single to Akamatsu (2-for-5), and an RBI single to Akihiro Higashide (1-for-4, RBI). That was enough to make him the losing pitcher of the game.
The Carp outhit the Giants, 9-6 and left 8 runners on base (the Giants left 6).
Time: 2h 59
Yokohama Bay Stars 8 - Yakult Swallows 5
W: Kimiyasu Kudo (2-2; .1 IP, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 R)
L: Masao Kida (3-4; 2 IP, 3 H, K, 0 BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER)
It was a see-saw battle over the first 3 innings of the game as the lead changed hands 3 times and ended with both of them tied at 4. The Swallows re-took the lead in the top of the 5th on a sac fly by Jamie D'Antona (2-for-3, 3 RBI) with runners on second and third. But a 2-run homer by Kazuya Fujita (5-for-5, 3B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI) off Masao Kida in the bottom of the 6th gave the Bay Stars a 7-5 lead.
Yokohama would score another run in the 7th on Takahiro Saeki's (3-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) 6th home run of the season, and 2 more runs in the bottom of the 8th on RBI singles by Shuichi Murata (2-for-5, 2B, RBI) and Dan Johnson (1-for-1, RBI) to win the game by the score of 9-5.
The Bays Stars racked up 17 hits and left 10 runners on base. The Swallows collected 8 hits and left 7 runners on. ... Norichika Aoki went 0-for-2 with 3 walks. ... Fujita collected 5 hits for the first time in his career (pro and otherwise). ... Ryo Kawashima (2.2 IP, 7 H, 2 K, BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER) got the start for the Swallows and lasted only 2.2 innings. ... Les Walrond (3 IP, 5 H, 0 K, BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER) started for the Bay Stars and lasted only 3 innings.
Time: 3h 52m
Chunichi Dragons 4 - Hanshin Tigers 1
W: Takashi Ogasawara (3-1; 6 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 0 R)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (21)
L: Shinobu Fukuhara (3-6; 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
Shinobu Fukuhara was doing a pretty good job containing the Dragons' line-up over the first 5 innings of the game, but then he hit a wall in the bottom of the 6th. He gave up a lead-off single to Masahiro Araki (1-for-4, R), a walk to Masahiko Morino (0-for-2, BB, R), and a 3-run blast to Tony Blanco (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI). A ground out and a triple later, Fukuhara was out of the game and the Tigers brought in Kazuya Tsutsui to relieve him. But he promptly walked Tomas De La Rosa (0-for-0, BB) and then allowed a run to score on Motonobu Tanishige's (0-for-3, RBI) grounder third.
The Tigers offense sputtered all night, wasting a first and second, 1-out opportunity in the first, a lead-off single in the 5th that was erased on a double play, and a 2-out first and second opportunity in the 6th. The Tigers did finally score a run in the top of the 7th when Takashi Toritani (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) led off the inning with a solo home run off Nelson Payano.
The Tigers outhit the Dragons, 9-5, and left 9 runners on base (the Dragons left 5). ... For the first time in 8 years, the Dragons managed to win their 8th straight game in a row. ... Araki stole his 250 career base in the 6th.
Time: 2h 55m
Nippon Ham Fighters 10 - Rakuten Eagles 5
W: Masaru Takeda (4-5; 7 IP, 4 H, 6 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
L: Hiromichi Fujiwara (0-2; 1.2 IP, 7 H, 2 K, 0 BB, HBP, 6 R, 6 ER)
Rough start for Hiromichi Fujiwara as he gave up 6 runs in the second and had to be taken out of the game after facing 10 batters in the inning and getting only 2 outs. The 10 batters he faced connected for 7 hits, including a bases-clearing double by Atsunori Inaba (3-for-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI) that made the score 6-0.
With Matt Childers on the mound for the Eagles, the Fighters scored another run in the 4th on an RBI double on Inaba's second double of the night. And a 2-run shot by Makoto Kaneko (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) in the 5th, put the Fighters up by 9. Still in the same inning with Childers on the mound, Kensuke Tanaka (2-for-4, 2 R) singled and then scored on two wild pitches to give the Fighters their 10th and final run of the game.
The Eagles finally got on the board against Masaru Takeda in the 7th when Jobu (1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI) grounded out to third with runners on second and third with 1 out. The Eagles then put together one last run at making a comeback in the top of the 9th by sending 10 batters to the plate. Unfortunately, those 10 batters only netted the Eagles with 4 runs: Ryo Hijirisawa (1-for-2, R, RBI) hit a run scoring infield single with runners on first and third with 2 out and Teppei (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI) followed with a home run to clear the bases and put the Eagles to within 5 runs. But four batters later, with the bases loaded, Naoki Miyanishi struck out Jobu to end the threat and the game.
The Fighters outhit the Eagles, 13-10, but left 2 fewer runners on base, 7-5.
Time: 3h 11m
Seibu Lions 11 - Chiba Lotte Marines 6
W: Takayuki Kishi (8-1; 7 IP, 12 H, 7 K, 0 BB, HBP, 6 R, 4 ER)
L: Yoshihisa Naruse (4-4; 5.1 IP, 10 H, 6 K, BB, 7 R, 7 ER)
With the scored tied at 1 after an inning, the Lions pushed 4 runs across the plate in the bottom second off Yoshihisa Naruse to take a 5-1 lead. The score would remain 5-1 until the top of the 5th, when Toshiaki Imae (3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI) nailed his first home of the game. An error in the 6th, by Yasuyuki Kataoka, that allowed a run to score, followed by Imae's second home run of the night, a 3-run shot, gave the Marines a 6-5 lead.
But the lead wouldn't last very long as Tomoaki Sato (1-for-3, 3B, R, 2 RBI) nailed a game-tying, RBI triple in the bottom half of the inning. A sac fly by Ginjiro put the Lions back on top, 7-6.
The Lions would score 2 more runs in the 7th on a bases loaded walk to Yoshihito Ishii (0-for-1, RBI), followed by a wild pitch that allowed Hiroyuki Nakamjima (3-for-5, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI) to score. A 2-run double in the 8th, with runners on first and third, by Nakajima, wrapped things up for the Lions' offense.
The Lions collected 15 hits and left 6 men on base. The Marines got 13 hits and left 9 men on base.
Time: 3h 24m
Orix Buffaloes - Softbank Hawks