Yomiuri Giants 3 - Yokohama Bay Stars 2
W: Tetsuya Yamaguchi (7-1; .1 IP, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 R)
L: Shun Yamaguchi (3-4; 0 IP, 1 H, 0 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
Hisanori Takahashi (7.2 IP, 4 H, 5 K, BB, 0 R) tossed a solid game, holding the Bay Stars to only 4 hits over his 7.2 innings of work. He also retired the first 9 batters in order before giving up a single to Yuki Yoshimura (1-for-4) in the top of the 5th. Takahashi then retired the next 9 batters until another lead-off single, this time by Toshihisa Nishi (1-for-2), broke the streak.
In the top of the 8th, with the Giants leading 2-0, Takahashi surrendered a walk and a single to start the inning, then retired the next two batters before being lifted, after 101 pitches, in favor of Daisuke Ochi.
Ochi finished off the 8th and struck out pinch-hitter Tatsuya Shimozono for the first out of the 9th. But then he lost his control and walked the next two batters before giving up a 2-run double to Takahiro Saeki (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) that knotted the game at 2. Ochi settled down and struck out Tatsuhiko Kinjo (0-for-3, BB) for the second out of the inning, but then gave up a single to pinch-hitter Dan Johnson, putting runners on first and third. Tetsuya Yamaguchi came into the game after that and got the final out of the inning.
The Giants won the game in the first at bat of the bottom of the 9th when Hayato Sakamoto drilled his 10th home run of the season off Shun Yamaguchi.
The Giants outhit the Bay Stars, 10-6. ... Les Walrond (6 IP, 7 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 2 R, ER) started for the Bay Stars. ... Both Takahashi (3rd inning, runner on second, no out) and Seung-Yeop Lee (6th inning, runners on first and second, no out) failed to lay down bunts in key situations.
Bay Stars: 6 LOB, 1 DP
Giants: 10 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 5m
Yakult Swallows 11 - Chunichi Dragons 6
W: Kenichi Matsuoka (4-0; 1 IP, 3 H, K, 0 BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER)
L: Nelson Payano (1-1; 2 IP, 3 H, 3 K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
That Kenichi Matsuoka, Ryota Igarashi, and Chang-Yong Lim all pitched meant that the Swallows would have to win tonight. And they did just that, but behind a strong offensive showing.
Jamie D'Anotona's 3-run blast in the bottom of the first, off Dragons' starter Takashi Ogasawara (1.2 IP, 5 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 4 R, 4 ER), gave the Swallows a quick 3-0 lead. The Dragons answered back with RBI singles Ogasawara (1-for-1, RBI) and Masahiro Araki (1-for-5, R, RBI). Keizo Kawashima (3-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI) knocked out his 7th home run of the season in the bottom of the 2nd for the Swallows and a single by Norichika Aoki (2-for-5, 2 RBI) knocked Ogasawara out of the game.
Not to be outdone, Masaaki Koike (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) homered in the top of the 3rd, to keep the Swallows lead at 1.
In the top of the 5th, the Dragons would finally tie the game at 4 on an RBI single by Atsushi Fujii (3-for-4, R, RBI). But back-to-back home runs by Kazuki Fukuchi (3-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI) and D'Anotona erased the tie, giving the lead back to the Swallows. The Dragons managed to keep pace though, once again re-tying the game in the top of the 6th when Kazuhiro Wada (2-for-5, 2B, R, RBI) drove in 2-runs with a single to left.
And as if on cue, the Swallows scored 3-runs in the bottom of the 5th on a tie-breaking 2-run double by Aoki and a run-scoring fielder's choice hit by Fukuchi. The Swallows would tack on 2 more runs in the bottom of the 8th on an RBI double by Fukuchi and a wild pitch by Akifumi Takahashi with a runner on Fukuchi on third.
The Swallows outhit the Dragons, 15-13.
Dragons: 9 LOB, 1 DP
Swallows: 8 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 37m
Hiroshima Carp 3 - Hanshin Tigers 1
W: Colby Lewis (0-1; 9 IP, 3 H, 6 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
L: Naohisa Sugiyama (5-4; 4 IP, 7 H, K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
Colby Lewis was on his game. He limited the Tigers to just 3 hits over the first 2 innings and then retired the final 24 batters he faced. Lewis also ended up tossing a 95-pitch (!) complete game. The lone run Lewis coughed up came in the first when he surrendered a lead-off hit to Keiichi Hirano (1-for-4, R), saw him bunted over to second by Kentaro Sekimoto (0-for-2), and then driven home on a single by Ikuro Katsuragi (1-for-3, RBI).
The Carp relied on the long ball to delivery all three of their runs: a 2-run homer by Kenta Kurihara (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) and a solo homer by Scott McClain (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI).
The Carp outhit the Tigers, 8-3. ... Atsushi Noumi tossed the final 3 innings of the game for the Tigers and recorded 7 strike outs.
Tigers: 1 LOB, 1 DP
Carp: 5 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 16m
Chiba Lotte Marines 7 - Rakuten Eagles 5
W: Tadahiro Ogino (2-1; .1 IP, 2 H, K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Sv: Brian Sikorski (3)
L: Shinichiro Koyama (1-3; 0 IP, H, 0 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
With Yoshihisa Naruse (6.2 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) on the mound for the Marines, Fernando Seguignol got the Eagles going in bottom of the third with an RBI double. Takeshi Yamasaki then followed with an RBI double of his own, giving a 2-0 lead.
On the other side of the diamond, Hiromichi Fujiwara (7.1 IP, 3 H, 3 K, 2 BB, HBP, 3 R, 2 ER) was tossing a perfect game through 4. A throwing error to first by Fujiwara killed the perfect game, but a double-play quickly erased the runner on first and ended the inning. Fujiwara then gave up a walk in the top of the 6th, but he still ended up facing the minimum three hitters in the inning as Benny Agbayani (1-for-2, BB, 2B) was thrown out trying to steal second.
The Marines finally got on the board in the top of the 7th when a run scored on a throwing error by Daisuke Kusano that left everyone safe. Teppei (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) took back the run in the bottom half of the inning to keep the Eagles up by 2 runs. But things came crashing down in the top of the 8th.
Fujiwara surrendered 2 straight doubles after striking out the first batter of the inning. Shinichiro Koyama came in for Fujiwara and promptly gave up a single to Tsuyoshi Nishioka (1-for-5, R). Kanehisa Arime relieved Koyama and things only got worse.
Arime gave up a game-tying double to Masahiko Tanaka. A walk to Tadahito Iguchi (0-for-3, HBP, IBB, R) loaded the bases and 2 back-to-back walks after that gave the Marines 5-3 lead. A sac fly by Tomoya Satozaki (0-for-3, RBI) and a run scoring single by Naotaka Takehara (1-for-4, RBI) extended the Marines lead to 7-3.
In the bottom of the 8th, a lead-off walk to Seguignol, followed by a 2-run blast by Yamasaki brought the Eagles to within 2 runs. But Bobby Valentine dipped into the bullpen and replaced Tadahiro Ogino with Yoshihiro Ito, who retired the next three batters in order.
Brian Sikorski tossed a perfect 9 for his 3rd save of the season.
The Eagles outhit the Marines, 8-7. ... The Marines sent 11 batters to the plate in the 8th. ... The 2-run homer Yamasaki hit in the 8th was his 1,500th career hit. ... The Eagles have now lost 8 straight.
Marines: 5 LOB, 2 DP
Eagles: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 26m
Seibu Lions 4 - Nippon Ham Fighters 3
W: Tetsuya Iwasaki (2-0; 1 IP, 0 H, K, 0 BB, 0 R)
Sv: Chikara Onodera (10)
L: Yu Darvish (10-3; 7 IP, 9 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
Yu Darvish coughed up 4 runs against a powerful Seibu line-up and suffered his third loss of the season: he gave up a lead-off solo home run to Takeya Nakamura (2-for-3, BB, HR, R, RBI) in the 2nd; an RBI single to Yoshihito Ishii (2-for-3, RBI) in the 4th; and a 2-run homer to Tatsuyuki Uemoto (1-for-1, HR, R, 2 RBI) in the bottom of the 7th.
Fumiya Nishiguchi (6 IP, 6 H, 5 K, BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) got the start for the Lions and was shutting out the Fighters through 4. But ihe gave up a solo homer run to Makoto Kaneko (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) in the top of the 5th and a go ahead (the score was 2-1 in favor of the Lions at the time) 2-run home run to Terrmel Sledge (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) in the top 6th.
Nishiguchi came out of the game after 6 and the Lions bullpen did it's job, shutting down the Fighters' over the final 3 inning of the game.
The Lions outhit the Fighters, 10-7. ... The four runs Darvish gave up are the most he's given up in a game this season. It was also his first loss since June 6th.
Fighters: 5 LOB, 2 DP
Lions: 6 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 4m
Softbank Hawks 3 - Orix Buffaloes 2
W: Yoshiaki Fujioka (3-3; 5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
Sv: Takahiro Mahara (15)
L: Chihiro Kaneko (8-5; 7 IP, 8 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
The Hawks offense went to work quickly, scoring a run in the 1st on a ground out by Jose Ortiz (1-for-4, RBI) and 2 runs in the 2nd on a 2-run double by Nobuhiro Matsuda (3-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI). Three double-plays between the 3rd and 9th innings killed off most of the chances the Hawks had to score some more runs.
Yoshiaki Fujioka did a very nice job of keeping the Buffaloes off-balance. The only problem inning he had was in the bottom of the 4th when gave up 3 hits (single, strike out, double, single), the big blow coming off the bat of Hirotoshi Kitagawa, an RBI single that finally put the Buffaloes on the board.
The Buffaloes scored another run in the bottom of the 9th on a 2-out, pinch-hit, RBI infield single by Hiroyuki Oze (1-for-1, RBI). But that would be it as Toshiya Tsuji (0-for-1) grounded out to short to end the game.
The Hawks outhit the Buffaloes, 9-3. ... Fujioka picked up his first win since June 10th.
Hawks: 3 LOB, 3 DP
Buffaloes: 7 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 55m