Yomiuri Giants 4 - Hiroshima Carp 1
W: Wirfin Obispo (1-0; 6.2 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 2 BB, HBP, R, ER)
Sv: Tetsuya Yamaguchi (2)
L: Colby Lewis (4-4; 5.2 IP, 12 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
Wirfin Obispo started in his first pro game and did a good job of keeping the Carp off-balance, despite running into a couple jams that could have made his night a complete disaster: bases loaded with 2 out in the 3rd, and runners on first and second with only 1 out in the 4th. As it was, the only run that scored was on Kenta Kurihara's (2-for-2, HBP, BB, 2B, HR, R, RBI) 10th home run of the season.
Colby Lewis wasn't very effective, giving up at least 2 hits in each of the 6 innings he worked in (other than the first when he gave up 1), but did manage to keep the Giants from building an excessively large lead. He got Hayato Sakamoto to foul out in the 4th with runners on second and third and 2 out; and got Shinnosuke Abe to ground out in the 5th with runners on first and second and 2 outs.
But he couldn't work out jams in the second, giving up an RBI single to Seung-Yeop Lee (2-for-4, RBI) with a runner on second with 1 out; in the third, giving up an RBI single to Alex Ramirez (1-for-4, RBI) with runners on first and third with 1 out, followed by a run-scoring ground out to Yoshiyuki Kamei (2-for-4, R, RBI); and in the 6th, giving up an RBI double to Sakamoto with a runner on second with 2 out.
The Giants outhit the Carp, 12-7, but left 3 fewer men on base (7-10). ... Andy Phillips went 2-for-2 with a double. ... Not only was this Obispo's first pro victory, but it was also his first pro start since joining the Giants as an Ikusei player in 2007. ... The 12 hits Colby surrendered established a new career high.
Time: 3h 10m
Hanshin Tigers 4 - Chunichi Dragons 3
W: Ryo Watanabe (1-0; 1 IP, H, 2 K, 0 BB, 0 R)
Sv: Kyuji Fujikawa (8)
L: Takuya Asao (5-6; 1 IP, 3 H, K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Minori Iwata (6 IP, 8 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) started for the Tigers and promptly gave up a run in the first on an RBI single by Tony Blanco (2-for-4, RBI). The Tigers answered back with a run of their own in the top of the fourth when a runner scored on a Craig Brazell (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI) GIDP. But the Dragons would take back the lead off Iwata in the 5th when Masahiro Araki (2-for-4, RBI) singled with runners on 1st and 3rd an no one out. Araki would catch Araki trying to steal second, but Masahiko Morino (0-for-4, RBI) bore down and hit a grounder to drive in the runner at third to give the Dragons a 3-1 lead.
The score would remain 3-1 until the top of the 7th when Brazell nailed his 3rd home run of the season, pulling the Tigers to within one. The lead would quickly disappear in the 8th when Brazell once again delivered a key hit: with runners on first and third with 2 out, Brazell hit a 2-run double to put the Tigers up by 1.
The Tigers' bullpen then retired the final 6 Chunichi batters in order, completing a much-needed come-from-behind victory for the team.
The Tigers outhit the Dragons, 12-9, and left 7 runners on base (the Dragons left 5 on base. ... Kyuji Fujikawa closed out the game by striking out the side in the 9th. ... The Dragons 8-game winning streak came to an end.
Time: 3h 29m
Nippon Ham Fighters 6 - Rakuten Eagles 3
W: Masanori Hayashi (.2 IP, 0 H, K, 1 BB, 0 R)
Sv: Hisashi Takeda (15)
L: Kanehisa Arime (0-1, .2 IP, H, 2 K, BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER)
The Eagles almost staged the perfect comeback, but the last three pitchers out of the bullpen couldn't hold on to a 3-2 lead, instead allowing 4 runs to score in the bottom of the 8th. And it wasn't a very pretty inning.
Kensuke Tanaka (0-for-2, 2 BB, R) walked to start the 8th, followed by a sac bunt that moved him over to second. But that sac bunt would have little meaning. A pitching change brought Kanehisa Arime into the game, but he wouldn't be of any help, walking the one and only batter he faced, Atsunori Inaba (1-for-2, 2 BB, R). Marcus Gwyn came in after that, but he too was largely ineffective, hitting the first batter he faced in Shinji Takahashi (0-for-3, HBP, R). A wild pitch allowed the tying run to score and put runners on second and third. Gwyn then walked Terrmel Sledge (0-for-2, 2 BB, R) to re-load the bases and struck out Yoshio Itoi (1-for-4, 2B, BB) for the second out of the inning. Eiichi Koyano then stepped into the batters box and nailed the first pitch he saw from Gwyn for a go-ahead 2-run double. Shinya Tsuruoka (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) struck out to end the inning.
The Eagles did try to get something going in the top of the 9th after their first two batters reached, but Hisashi Takeda bore down and retired the next three batters in order for his 15th save of the season.
Yu Darvish (7 IP, 9 H, 7 K, BB, HBP, R, ER) got the start for the Fighters and was knocked around a bit, but still managed to hold the Eagles to a run.
The Eagles collected 13 hits and left as many on base. The Fighters had 5 hits and left 5 men on base. ... Hideki Asai (2 IP, 3 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) got the start for the Eagles. ... Todd Linden went 2-for-5.
Time: 3h 46m
Chiba Lotte Marines 9 - Seibu Lions 8
W: Yusuke Kawasaki (1-0; 1.1 IP, 3 H, 0 K, 3 BB, R, ER)
Sv: Tatsuya Uchi (1)
L: Jun Yamamoto (0-1; 2 IP, 4 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Through the first 4 innings of the game, there wasn't all that much offense other than the 2 runs the Marines scored in the second on Tsuyoshi Nishioka's (4-for-4, 3 BB, HR, 4 R, 3 RBI) 6th home run of the season (Kayuza Fukuura reached on an error). But over the course of the next 4 innings, the lead would change hands 4 times and would ultimately be tied, sending the game into extra innings.
With the Marines up 3-0 going into the bottom of the 5th, Ginjiro (1-for-3, HR, R, 3 RBI) nailed a 3-run home run to tie the game. A scoreless top of the 6th allowed the Lions to take the lead in the bottom of the inning when Takeya Nakamura (1-for-5, BB, HR, R, RBI) launched his 25th home run of the season. That lead quickly disappeared in the top of the 7th when Shoitsu Ohmatsu (4-for-6, BB, HR, R, 5 RBI) nailed a 3-run home run of his own. But once again the lead would disappear in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Yasuyuki Kataoka (2-for-5, 2 BB, R, RBI) and a 2-run home run by Hiroyuki Nakajima (1-for-5, BB, R, 2 RBI). The Marines then tied the game in the top of the 8th on an RBI single by Nishioka.
The game would remain tied until the top of the 12th when Chase Lambin (0-for-1, 2 BB, R), Nishioka, and Toshiaki Imae (1-for-6) loaded the bases and both Ohmatsu and Tadahito Ichuch (1-for-5, 2 BB, RBI) followed with RBI singles to put the Marines up, 9-7. The Lions managed to close the gap to within 1 in their half of the inning on pinch-hitter, Taka Miura's (1-for-1, RBI) RBI single. A walk to Kataoka loaded the bases after that and Tatsuya Uchi was called on to hold down the lead. Uchi struck out Takumi Kuriyama for the second out of the inning and got Nakajima to ground out to short to end the inning and the game.
The Marines combined for 16 hits and left 15 runners on base. The Lions had 11 hits and left 13 on base. ... The game set the record for the longest Pacific League game on record. The previous high was set on August 29, 2000 during a 12 inning game and lasted 5h 32m between the Seibu Lions and Orix Blue Waves.
Time: 5h 42m
Orix Buffaloes 6 - Softbank Hawks 5
W: Daisuke Kato (3-0; 2 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 0 BB, HBP, 0 R)
L: Yoshiaki Fujioka (2-3; 1 IP, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
Chihiro Kaneko (6.1 IP, 10 H, 6 K, BB, HBP, 5 R, 5 ER) got away with a bad start. If not for the Buffaloes' offense, he could have easily been on the losing side of the stick. Instead, he ends up without a decision. Justin Germano (5 IP, 7 H, K, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 3 R, 2 ER), on the other hand, would have gotten a win, had it not been for the bullpen. Instead, he also comes away without a decision.
The Hawks brought Tadashi Settsu into the game in the top of the 7th to protect a 4-3 lead. After getting Jose Fernandez (2-for-5, R, RBI) to ground out, Settsu surrendered a single to Greg LaRocca (1-for-5, HBP, R) and then allowed the tying run to score on a double by Hirotoshi Kitagawa (4-for-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI). A wild pitch moved Kitagawa to third and Naoyuki Ohmura managed to hit the ball deep enough to center to push the go-ahead run across the plate.
But the lead wouldn't last long. Yuichi Honda (3-for-5, 2 R) led off the bottom half of the inning with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt. Jose Ortiz (2-for-4, RBI) then singled him home to tie the game at 5.
The score would remain tied until the top of the 11th with Yoshiaki Fujioka on the mound for the Hawks. With 1 out, Fujioka surrendered a single to Fernandez, who was then replaced by pinch-runner Fumihiro Suzuki. LaRocca fouled out for the second out of the inning. Suzuki then stole second on the first pitch to Kitagawa. The second pitch to Kitagawa ended up being a single to left, putting the Buffaloes in front, 6-5.
Daisuke Kato (in the game since the start of the 10th) hit the first batter he faced in the bottom of the 11th, but then retired the next three batters to pick up the win.
The Buffaloes outhit the Hawks, 14-10, and left 4 more runners on base (11-7). ... The last time Kitagawa picked up 4 hits was three years ago. ... Nobuhiko Matsunaka (1-for-5, 2B, RBI) had a 3-run home run call revoked in the third inning when he nailed a shot that appeared to go over the fence.
Time: 4h 4m