Yokohama Bay Stars 4 - Yakult Swallows 2
W: Tom Mastny (1-3; 5 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 0 BB, HBP, R, ER)
Sv: Shun Yamaguchi (9)
L: Yoshinori Sato (5-5; 7 IP, 8 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
With 2 outs in the top of the 3rd, Yoshinori Sato walked Yuki Yoshimura (0-for-4, BB), gave up a single to Kazuya Fujita (2-for-4, R), and then surrendered an RBI single to Seiichi Uchikawa (3-for-4, R, RBI). The Bay Stars scored 2 more runs off Sato in the top of the 5th on an RBI single by Shuichi Murata (1-for-4, RBI) and a run-scoring ground out by Dan Johnson (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI).
The Swallows finally managed to return a run in the bottom of the 5th as they got a rally going after 2 quick outs and scored a run on a single by Kazuki Fukuchi (3-for-4, RBI). But the inning promptly ended when Jamie D'Antona (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) flew out to left with runners on first and third.
The score remained 3-1 until the top of the 8th when Johnson nailed his 11th home run of the season. The Swallows answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning: a D'Antona's 14th homer of the season.
Shun Yamaguchi gave up a lead-off walk in the 9th, but then retired the next 3 batters in a row to pick up a save.
The Bay Stars outhit the Swallows, 10-9. ... The Swallows had a great chance in the 4th when they loaded the bases with only 1 out, but the inning ended on a strike out by Shinya Miyamoto and a fly out by Ryoji Aikawa. ... Matsny finally won his first game in 10 starts.
Bay Stars: 6 LOB, 2 DP
Swallows: 7 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 4m
Chunichi Dragons 2 - Hiroshima Carp 1
W: Kazuki Yoshimi (9-3; 7 IP, 4 H, 6 K, BB, 1 R, 0 ER)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (24)
L: Kenta Maeda (5-8; 8 IP, 7 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Kenta Maeda pitched well enough for the win, but unfortunately his opponent did better.
Maeda started off strong, retiring the first 10 Dragons in order. And the first hit he surrendered in the 4th was quickly erased on a double play.
Kazuki Yoshimi didn't have quite the start that Maeda did, giving up singles in both the 1st and 2nd innings. An error in the 3rd led to the Carp scoring a run on an RBI single by Kenta Kurihara (2-for-4, RBI). But after giving up a lead-off hit in the 4th, Yoshimi retired the next 12 batters in a row before giving way to the bullpen.
The Dragons ended up tying the game in the bottom of the 5th when Tony Blanco (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) led off the inning with 25th home run of the season. The Dragons would then take the lead in the bottom of the 6th on 3 consecutive hits to start the inning: a double by Hirokazu Ibata (1-for-4, 2B, R), a single by Masahiro Araki (2-for-4), and an tie-breaking single by Masahiko Morino (1-for-4, RBI).
Hitoki Iwase faced 4 batters in the 9th to pick up his league leading 24th save of the season.
Both teams collected 7 hits a piece. ... Maeda has now lost 3 games in a row. ... The Carp have lost 7 straight against the Dragons.
Carp: 7 LOB, 0 DP
Dragons: 5 LOB, 2 DP
Time: 2h 40m
Yomiuri Giants 2 - Hanshin Tigers 2
Seth Greisinger (8 IP, 6 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 0 ER) tossed a solid game for the Giants, giving up only 2 unearned runs in the top of the 5th when Yuya Ando (0-for-1) laid down a bunt with runners on first and second with 1 out. Greisinger fielded the ball and threw over to first, but a bad throw meant the bases were loaded with still only 1 out. When Keiichi Hirano (3-for-5, 2B) flew out for the second out of the inning, it appeared as though Greisinger might make his way out of the inning, but batter, Kentaro Sekimoto (1-for-3, 2 RBI), nailed a 2-run single to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Yuya Ando (7 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 2 BB, HBP, 0 R) started for the Tigers and kept the Giants and managed to get himself into and out of trouble. Of special note should be the 2nd inning where a double play erased a lead-off single that was then followed by a walk, a double, and an intentional walk to load the bases. Greisinger was up next and grounded out to end the inning.
When the Giants finally managed to put a run up on the board, it was against Scott Atchison in the 8th on an RBI single by Yoshiyuki Kamei (2-for-6, 2B, RBI). And with the Giants trailing by a run in the top of the 9th Tetsuya Matsumoto (3-for-5, R, RBI) came through with a big hit off Kuji Fujikawa to tie the game at 2.
Extra innings didn't go well for either club.
The Giants left runners on first and second with 2 out with Takahiro Suzuki (1-for-2, R) up to bat in the 10th; runners on second and third with 2 out and Alex Ramirez (1-for-6) up to bat in the 11th; and the bases loaded with Hayato Sakamoto (1-for-7) up to bat in the 12th.
The Tigers left runners on first and second with 1 out, but neither Atsushi Fujimoto (0-for-1) nor Takahiro Arai (0-for-4, BB) could get a run home; runners on first and second with pinch-hitter Mitsunobu Takahashi up to bat in the 11th; and pinch-hitter Takashi Shimizu grounded into a double play to end the game.
The Giants outhit the Tigers, 14-8. ... The Tigers are now 3-5-1 in the month of July. They are also 1-5-1 against the Giants.
Giants: 17 LOB, 3 DP
Tigers: 12 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 4h 35m
Nippon Ham Fighters 6 - Chiba Lotte Marines 5
W: Shintaro Ejiri (1-0; 2 IP, H, 2 K, BB, R, ER)
Sv: Hisashi Takeda (16)
L: Yusuke Kawasaki (1-1; 2 IP, H, 2 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
The Lotte Marines took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd when Fighters' starter Tomoya Yagi (5 IP, 3 H, 3 K, 4 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) surrendered a solo home run to Benny Agbayani (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI). But that lead wouldn't last very long as the Fighters scored 4 runs in the bottom half of the inning off Marines' starter, Yuki Karakawa (4.1 IP, 7 H, 2 K, BB, HBP, 5 R, 5 ER).
The Fighters ended up sending 8 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 3rd, five of which collected hits: a 1-out double by Kensuke Tanaka (1-for-3, R), a run-scoring single by Eiichi Koyano (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI), a single by Atsunori Inaba (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI), an infield single by Shinji Takahashi (2-for-3, BB, R, RBI) that scored the go-ahead run, and a 2-run triple by Yoshio Itoi (1-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI).
But just as quickly as the Fighters put together a 4-1 lead, the Marines took it back in the top of the 4th when Yagi walked two batters before giving up a game-tying 3-run homer to Tomoya Satozaki (2-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBI).
The Fighters regained the lead in the bottom of the 5th on Inaba's 6th home run of the season, only to have the Marines score a run in the top of the 7th to tie the game at 5. The Fighters would try one more time with a run in the bottom of the 7th. The Fighters then turned to Yoshinori Tateyama to pitch the 8th; he almost surrendered another game-tying run when he surrendered two singles after getting the first out of the inning. But with the help of a great leaping catch in center by Itoi for the second out of the inning, Tateyama managed to wiggle out of the inning without surrendering a run.
Hisashi Takeda entered the game in the 9th and picked up his 16th save.
The Fighters outhit the Marines, 10-7. ... This was Eijiri's first victory in 2 years.
Marines: LOB 6, 1 DP
Fighters: LOB 6, 1 DP
Time: 3h 9m
Seibu Lions 5 - Orix Buffaloes 4
W: Koji Ohnuma (2-3; 1 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 0 R)
L: Daisuke Kato (3-1; 1.2 IP, H, K, BB, R, ER)
The Lions to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st when Yasuyuki Kataoka (2-for-5, IBB, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) scored on a ground out by Hiroyuki Nakajima (1-for-5, 2 RBI). They extended the lead in the bottom of the 2nd when G.G. Sato (1-for-5, HR, R, RBI) nailed a solo home run off Buffaloes' starter Mamoru Kishida (6.2 IP, 6 H, 4, 2 BB, 4 R, 4 ER).
The Buffaloes finally managed to score a couple of runs off Lions' starter John Wasdin (6.1 IP, 8 H, K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER) in the top of the 4th when Greg LaRocca (1-for-4, R) led off the inning with an infield single and Alex Cabrera (1-for-4, BB, 2B, R) followed with a double. With runners on second and third and no out, Hirotoshi Kitagawa (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) then nailed a big 2-run double to left to tie the score at 2. The inning should have netted more runs, but Shinji Shimoyama (0-for-3, BB) couldn't lay down a bunt and Koji Yamasaki (1-for-5, R) ended up hitting into a double play to end the inning.
The Buffaloes took the lead in the top of the 5th on Keiji Ohbiki's (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) RBI double, and then extended it when Ohbiki hit an RBI single off Jun Yamamoto in the 7th.
With Kishida still on the mound for the Buffaloes, the Lions connected for 2 consecutive singles to start the bottom of the 7th. A sac bunt then set the stage for a run to score on Kataoka's grounder to short. 1 batter and 2 pitching changes later, Nakajima nailed a game-tying hit off Masanobu Ohkubo.
The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 11th. Daisuke Kato was working on his second inning and was one out away from sending the game into the 12th when Kataoka nailed a walk-off home run to give the Lions a 5-4 victory.
The Buffaloes outhit the Lions, 10-9. ... This was Keisuke Mizuta's last game in a Lions' uniforms (he's on his way to the Tigers). As such, the team wanted to "win this for Mizuta." They even entered him into the game as a pinch-hitter in the 9th, but that was short-lived as he was doubled up off third on a line-out by Nakajima.
Buffaloes: 9 LOB, 2 DP
Lions: 9 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 4h 30m
Rakuten Eagles 8 - Softbank Hawks 2
W: Satoshi Nagai (6-4; 8 IP, 7 H, 10 K, 3 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
L: Yasushi Kamiuchi (2-2; 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
The top of the first inning could have turned horribly for the Hawks, but thanks to a double-play immediately following Daisuke Kusano's (1-for-4, BB) lead-off single, Teppei's (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI) home run only ended up being a solo shot and Norihiro Nakamura's (2-for-4, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI) single, following a single and walk after Kusano's HR, only ended up driving in a run.
The Hawks quickly tied the game in the bottom of the second on a solo homer by Jose Ortiz (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) and an RBI single by Hitoshi Tamura (2-for-4, RBI).
The score remained tied at 2 until the top of the 5th when the Eagles took the lead when relief pitcher Makoto Sato threw a wild pitch with runners on first and third. The Eagles tacked on 3 more runs in the top of the 6th on a solo home run by Nakamura and a 2-run homer by Jin Nakatani (1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI). 2 more runs in the 7th gave the Eagles a commanding 8-2 lead, which they would hold onto.
While the Hawks never really managed to put together a real threat after the first, they did also ground into 3 double plays over the last 4 innings of the game, ruining any possible chances they may have been able to build off of.
The Eagles outhit the Hawks, 15-8. ... Every starter in the Eagles' line-up had at least 1 hit.
Eagles: 9 LOB, 2 DP
Hawks: 5 LOB, 4 DP
Time: 3h 10m