Yokohama Bay Stars 13 - Hiroshima Carp 7
W: Kentaro Takasaki (1-0; 1 IP, 2 H, K, BB, R, ER)
L: Kenta Maeda (5-7; 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 K, 0 BB, HBP, 8 R, 8 ER)
Kenta Maeda was actually doing a great job, tossing a perfect game through the first 4 innings of the game. But things came crashing down in the 5th when he surrendered a 2-run double to Takehiro Ishikawa (3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, 4 RBI) and immediately after that, a pinch-hit 2-run homer to Dan Johnson (1-for-1, HR, R, 2 RBI). Yokohama's offensive burst didn't end there though.
In the very next inning, the Bay Stars scored 5 more runs, 4 charged to Maeda. And they did it by loading the bases on 2 singles and an HBP. Maeda's night ended after surrendering a 2-run single to Ishikawa that knotted the game at 2. But Maeda's replacement, Masaki Hayashi, failed to hold the Bay Stars, first surrendering a 2-run double to Tatsuhiko Kinjo (2-for-2, 2B, 3B, R, 4 RBI) and then an RBI single to Yuki Yoshimura (2-for-5, RBI) to extend the lead to 9-6.
The Bay Stars scoring spree finally ended in the 7th after a 2-run homer to Shuichi Murata (2-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) and a 2-run triple to Kinjo put the Bay Stars up, 13-6.
The Carp offense wasn't exactly asleep at the wheel through the Bay Stars 3-inning, 13-run barrage. In fact, Hiroshima had a somewhat commanding 5-0 lead prior to the bottom of the 5th that included 3 solo home runs: Scott McClain (2-for-4, BB, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) hit solo homers in the 3rd and 5th and Takura Ishii (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) hit his in the 5th after McClain's second blast. The Carp scored 2 more times after that, but that would be it.
The Bay Stars outhit the Carp, 16-11. ... The hits that drove in the runs in both 5th and 6th innings came after 2 outs were recorded. ... Andy Phillips went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. ... Takuro Ishii's home run was the first of the season and 100th of his career.
Carp: 9 LOB, 1 DP
Bay Stars: 3 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 15m
Chunichi Dragons 4 - Yomiuri Giants 2
W: Kazuki Yoshimi (8-3; 7 IP, 5 H, 5 K, BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (22)
L: Tetsuya Yamaguchi (6-1; .2 IP, 2 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Seth Greisinger (6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 K, BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) got the start for the Giants and managed to match Kazuki Yoshimi through 6.1 innings of work. And in hindsight, perhaps it would have made more sense to try and stretch Greisinger through to the end of the 7th. But instead, Tatsunori Hara dipped into the pen after Greisinger gave up a single and a sac bunt and called on Tetsuya Yamaguchi to hold off the Dragons. Unfortunately, luck finally caught up with Yamaguchi: after taking over the mound from Greisinger, he walked Kazuyoshi Tatsunami (0-for-0, BB) and Hirokazu Ibata (1-for-3, BB, 2 R) to load the bases. He then gave up a game-tying single to Masahiro Araki (1-for-3, BB, RBI) and what would ultimately become a game-winning 2-run single to Masahiko Morino (1-for-3, HBP, 2 RBI).
The Giants scored their 2 runs in the stop of the 7th on a 2-run home run by Seung-Yeop Lee (1-for-2, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI). The Giants also had great chances to score some runs in the 2nd and 6th when they managed to get 2 runners on base with 1 out, but both innings ended on double plays (Kazunari Tsuruoka in the 2nd and Michihiro Ogasawara in the 6th).
Hitoki Iwase tossed a perfect 9th for his 22nd save of the season.
The Dragons outhit the Giants, 7-5. ... Lee has now hit 4 home runs since Inter-league play ended.
Giants: 3 LOB, 2 DP
Dragons: 8 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 3m
Yakult Swallows 6 - Hanshin Tigers 3
W: Yoshinori Sato (5-4; 7 IP, 6 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 3 R, 2 ER)
Sv: Chang-Yong Lim (19)
L: Atsushi Noumi (3-6; 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
Perhaps in a bid to try and jolt Norichika Aoki out of a season-long slump that saw him go 0 for his last 16 at bats, Shigeru Takada penciled him into the lead-off spot. The result? Aoki went 1-for-3 with 2 walks and his first home run since June 16th. Interestingly enough, Yoshinori Sato happened to be the winning pitcher on record for that game as well.
Sato also happened to toss a pretty solid game on this day as well. And if not for Tomoaki Kanemoto (2-for-2, BB, HR, R, 3 RBI), the game would have been further out of reach for the Tigers. There was one potentially bad inning for Sato, outside of the 1st and 6th when he gave up 1 and 2 runs respectively, where he surrendered a triple to Keiichi Hirano (3-for-5, 3B, R) after recording the first out of the inning. But he somehow managed to wiggle out of the inning by getting Kentaro Sekimoto (0-for-3) to fly out, walking both Takahiro Arai (1-for-3, BB, R) and Kanemoto to load the bases, and then striking out Craig Brazell (0-for-4) to end the inning.
Outside of Aoki's home run in the third, the Swallows also scored 2 runs in the second on a double by Ryoji Aikawa (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI), a run in the 5th on a Jamie D'Antona (2-for-3, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI) single, and 2 runs in the 8th on a double by D'Antona and a single by Aikawa.
The Swallows outhit the Tigers 9-8. ... Sato is currently riding a modest 3-game winning streak and also stopped the team's 4 game slide.
Swallows: 8 LOB, 0 DP
Tigers: 7 LOB, 2 DP
Time: 3h 26m
Softbank Hawks 7 - Nippon Ham Fighters 3
W: Toshiya Sugiuchi (9-1; 9 IP, 7 H, 9 K, BB, 3 R, 2 ER)
L: Tomoya Yagi (6-1; 6.1 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 0 BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER)
Toshiya Sugiuchi didn't run into too many problems against the Fighters, other than in the third when he surrendered a run-scoring single to Kensuke Tanaka (1-for-4, RBI) and in the fourth when he gave up 2-run double to Shinya Tsuruoka (2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI) after retiring the first two batters of the inning. He also started the game off by retiring the first 7 batters in a row and struck out the side in the bottom of the 8th.
The Hawks relied on power to score all 7 of their runs in the game. Nobuhiko Matsunaka (1-for-3, BB, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) knocked out a homer after Tomoya Yagi hit Jose Ortiz to start the inning in the fourth. In the top of the 7th, Hitoshi Tamura (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) nailed a 2-run homer of his own after Hiroki Kokubo (1-for-4, R) led off the inning with a single. The final blow came in the 9th when relief pitcher Shintaro Ejiri walked two batters prior to serving up a home run to Hidenori Tanoue (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI).
The Hawks outhit the the Fighters, 8-7. ... Sugiuchi is riding a personal 7 game winning streak and also tossed his third complete game. ... Tamura has now homered in each of his last three games. ... Yagi suffered his first loss of the season ... The Fighters were riding a 6-game winning streak prior to the start of the game.
Fighters: 2 LOB, 1 DP
Hawks: 4 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 2h 51m
Seibu Lions 3 - Rakuten Eagles 1
W: Kazuhisa Ishii (4-6; 8 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 3 BB, R, ER)
Sv: Chikara Onodera (8)
L: Satoshi Nagai (5-4; 7 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Kazuhisa Ishii had a very nice outing, scattering just four hits 8 innings of work. He also had some help from the pitcher's best friend, the double play, and got the Eagles to hit into 3 of them. The one run he gave up came in the bottom of the first with 2 outs: a solo home run to Daisuke Kusano (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI).
Satoshi Nagai did a nice job of containing Takeya Nakamura (0-for-3, BB), but surrendered solo home runs to both Hiroyuki Nakajima (2-for-3, HR, R, RBI) in the first and Yoshihito Ishii (2-for-3, BB, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI) in the fourth. That was pretty much the difference in the game. Nagai did manage to wiggle out of a jam in the third when the inning ending on a strike out, throw out double play.
The Lions final run scored in the bottom of the 8th Shinichiro Koyama on the mound for the Eagles. After recording the first two outs of the inning on a strike out and a caught stealing, Koyama surrendered two back-to-back doubles to Ishii and G.G. Sato (2-for-4, 2B, RBI), the later driving in the former.
The Lions outhit the Eagles, 9-4. ... Ishii won his first game since June 6th. Todd Linden went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... The Eagles lost their 5th straight game and have fallen into 4th place.
Lions: 7 LOB, 1 DP
Eagles: 5 LOB, 3 DP
Time: 3h 1m
Orix Buffaloes 4 - Chiba Lotte Marines 1
W: Mamoru Kishida (4-1; 7 IP, 4 H, 7 K, 2 BB, R, ER)
Sv: Daisuke Kato (11)
L: Yuki Karakawa (4-5; 7.1 IP, 7 H, 3 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Mamoru Kishida tossed a great game, limiting the Marines to just 4 hits and retiring the last 8 batters he faced in a row. The Orix bullpen (Ryota Katsuki and Daisuke Kato) also did a superb job, retiring the final 6 batters in a row.
The only time Kishida really faltered was in the third when he allowed the first three batters to reach: a walk to Gary Burnham Jr. (0-for-2, BB, R), a single to Toshiaki Imae (1-for-3), and an RBI single to Tsuyoshi Nishioka (1-for-4, RBI). But Kishida settled down after that and retired the next 3 batters in a row to end the threat and the inning.
Yuki Karakawa also had a pretty decent start, holding the Buffaloes to just 2 hits over the first 5 innings. But he broke down a bit in the 6th when he surrendered RBI singles to both Jose Fernandez (1-for-4, R, RBI) and Hirotoshi Kitagawa (1-for-2, HBP, BB, RBI). And if not for an inning ending double play, who knows how many more runs the Buffaloes may have touched him for.
The two additional runs the Buffaloes scored came off Yoshihiro Ito in the top of the 9th. After hitting Kitagawa to lead-off the inning and seeing him move over to second on a sac bunt, Koji Yamasaki (1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) doubled him home. A ground out for the second out of the inning moved Yamasaki to third, which set up the RBI single by Fumihiro Suzuki (1-for-4, RBI).
The Buffaloes outhit the Marines, 10-4. ... This was Karakawa's last start as a player under 20. His birthday is on the 5th. ... This was Kishida's first start and win since he complained of right shoulder tightness and was taken off the active roster on May 9th. He was placed on the active roster prior to the start of the game.
Buffaloes: 7 LOB, 2 DP
Marines: 5 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h, 33m