Yomiuri Giants 4 - Yakult Swallows 0
W: Shun Tono (4-4; 9 IP, 4 H, 6 K, BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
L: Kyohei Muranaka (0-2; 6 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 4 R, 4 ER)
Shun Tono tossed a complete game shut-out for his fourth win of the season. And he held the Swallows to only 4 hits (at one point, retiring 16 straight batters), two of which belonged to Hiroyasu Tanaka (2-for-4). Norichika Aoki went 0-for-4 and is now 3-for-27 over his last 7 games.
The Giants' offense was helped out by some control issues that Kyohei Muranaka suffered at the start of the game. In the top of the first, he loaded the bases with a walk, HBP, and a single, before giving up another walk to gift-wrap the Giants a 1-0 lead. The fifth batter of the inning, Yoshiyuki Kamei (0-for-4), then rapped into a double play, pushing across another run to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.
2 more runs crossed the plate for the Giants in the top of the third, and it all started with an HBP to Michihiro Ogasawara (3-for-3, HBP, R), followed by a double off the bat of Alex Ramirez (2-for-3, BB, 2B, R, RBI) to put runners on second and third. A wild pitch allowed Ogasawara to score and moved Ramirez to third. Muranaka struck out Kamei for the second out of the inning, but Masakuni Odajima (2-for-3, RBI) followed with a single, making the score 4-0.
The Giants outhit the Swallows, 9-4. ... Tono only required 113 pitches for his complete game. It was also Tono's first complete game shut-out of his career.
Giants: 7 LOB, 3 DP
Swallows: 4 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 2h 33m
Hanshin Tigers 5 - Chunichi Dragons 4
W: Yasutomo Kubo (4-4; 7 IP, 6 H, 6 K, 0 BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER)
Sv: Kyuji Fujikawa (10)
L: Kenichi Nakata (1-2; 6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 K, BB, HBP, 5 R, 5 ER)
The Chunichi Dragons took a 1-0 lead off Yasutomo Kubo in the top of the 4th when Masahiro Araki (1-for-3, HBP, 2 R) led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and Masahiko Morino (1-for-4) doubled him over to third. Without the help of any futher offensive help, the Dragons scored their first run on a wild pitch by Kubo. With Morino on third, the next three batters went down in order.
The Tigers quickly answered in their half of the 4th when Kentaro Sekimoto (1-for-2, R) was hit by a pitch to start the inning. After the next batter flew out to right, Tomoaki Kanemoto (0-for-3, BB, R) walked to put runners on first and second. Craig Brazell (1-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI) then came through with a clutch, 2-run double to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Kenichi Nakata retired Takahiro Arai (1-for-3, R) on a fly out to center, but then gave up a run scoring single to Takashi Toritani (1-for-3, RBI) before getting the final out of the inning.
In the top of the 6th, the Dragons managed to tie the game on a 2-out, RBI single by Tony Blanco (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI) and a 2-out, RBI double by Atsushi Fujii (2-for-4, 2 RBI). The Tigers answered back with 2 of their own in the bottom of the 7th to re-claim the lead: with runners on second and third and 1 out, Shijiro Hiyama hit a pinch-hit, run-scoring double to center. Mitsunobu Takahashi followed that up with a pinch-hit, sac-fly to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead.
Down by 2 runs, the Dragons managed to throw up a run in the top of the 8th on Fujii's RBI single with runners on first and second and 2 out. But that would be all they'd score. Kyuji Fujikawa entered the game in the 9th and retired the Dragons in order for his 10th save of the season.
The Dragons outhit the Tigers, 8-7.
Dragons: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Tigers: 3 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 6m
Yokohama Bay Stars 5 - Hiroshima Carp 2
W: Les Walrond (4-7; 5 IP, 6 H, 5 K, BB, R, ER)
Sv: Shun Yamaguchi (11)
L: Colby Lewis (5-5; 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
With runners on first and third with 2 out in the bottom of the 4th, Yoshiyuki Ishihara (1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI) hit a run scoring double to give the Carp a 1-0 lead, this after grounding out to third for the second out of the inning with runners on first and third in the bottom of the 2nd (Colby Lewis ended the 2nd when he struck out).
In the top of the 6th, the Bay Stars' offense came alive (they were held to 2 hits over the first 5 innings). With 1 out, Yokohama collected 6 consecutive hits: pinch-hitter Shigeru Morikasa (1-for-1, R) singled to center; Yuki Yoshimura (1-for-4, R) singled to left; Kazuya Fujita (2-for-4, R) hit an infield single, loading the bases; Seiichi Uchikawa (1-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI) hit a 2-run double and gave the Bay Stars a 2-1 lead; Shuichi Murata (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) singled to center to drive in another run; and Takahiro Saeki (2-for-4, RBI) hit an infield single, driving in the Bay Stars' fourth run of the inning.
The Carp scored another run in the bottom of the 6th on a sac fly by Ishihara off Kentaro Takasaki. The Bay Stars' then went though 4 relievers to retire the final 10 batters in a row, with Shun Yamaguchi pitching the 9th for his 11th save.
The Bay Stars scored one more run in the top of the 8th on Murata's 17th home run of the season.
The Bay Stars outhit the Carp, 9-8. ... Walrond apparently drank too much of a sports drink and fell nauseous prior to the 5th inning. He managed to collect himself and finish out the 5th. ... Don't look now, the Bay Stars now have a 3-game winning streak going, the first of the year. ... The Carp have now lost 4 in a row, making it the third time they have lost 4 in a row this season.
Bay Stars: 3 LOB, 3 DP
Carp: 7 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 11m
Rakuten Eagles 8 - Seibu Lions 6
W: Kazuo Fukumori (2-0; 2 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
L: Tetsuya Iwasaki (2-2; .2 IP, H, 0 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
Teppei's (3-for-5, 3B, R, RBI) RBI single in the 1st gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Rakuten starter Hiromichi Fujiwara (0-2; 3 IP, 5 H, K, 2 HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) almost coughed up the lead in the bottom of the first when he loaded the bases with no out. But he somehow wiggled out of the inning by getting Takeya Nakamura (1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) to ground out to third and G.G. Sato (1-for-5) to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Eagles extended their lead to 2-0 in the top of the 3rd when Todd Linden (1-for-5, R, RBI) grounded out and scored the a runner on third. The Lions took no time in tying the game at 2 in the bottom half of the inning on a 2-run blast by Takumi Kuriyama (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) following an HBP to Yasuyuki Kataoka (3-for-4, HBP, 2B, 2 R, RBI) to start the inning. The Lions then appeared to run away with the game when they exploded for 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th.
Shinichiro Koyama entered the game in relief for Fujiwara in the 4th and easily retired the first two batters of the inning. But then he suddenly couldn't get anyone out: Koyama walked Ginjiro (0-for-2, BB, R), gave up a tie-breaking RBI double to Kataoka, an RBI single to Kuriyama, a single to Hiroyuki Nakajima (1-for-3, HBP, BB, R) to put runners on first and third, and finally a 2-run double to Nakamura. When G.G. Sato finally made the last out by grounding out to third, the Lions held a 6-2 lead.
Meanwhile, Takayuki Kishi (9-1; 8 IP, 8 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 6 R, 5 ER) was doing a good job keeping the Eagles at 2 runs. That is, until the top of the 8th when the Eagles had an offensive explosion of their own. After Kishi retired the first two batters of the inning, he surrendered a triple to Teppei, an RBI single to Takeshi Yamasaki (1-for-5, R, RBI), a single to Daisuke Kusano (1-for-4, R), and then a 3-run blast to Fernando Seguignol (1-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI). And just like that, Eagles tied the game at 6.
With Tetsuya Iwasaki now on the mound for the Lions, Kenshi lead-off the top of the 9th with a single. A bunt and a fly out later, the Lions brought in a new pitcher in Koji Mitsui. The Eagles countered with pinch-hitter Ryuji Miyade, and he would not disappoint, drilling a tie-breaking, 2-run homer into the right field stands.
Kazuo Fukumori, in the game since the 8th, closed out the game with a perfect 9th to improve his record to 2-0.
The Lions outhit the Eagles, 13-11. ... Kishi has now given up a league-leading 17 home runs this season. ... There was a little controversy surrounding Nakamura's ground out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first. Eagles' third baseman Norihiro Nakamura fielded the ball and threw home to get the lead runner. Jin Nakatani caught and then dropped the ball, but the ump called the runner out, saying that Nakatani had control of the ball before dropping it. Lions' manager Hisanobu Watanabe argued with the umpire for close to 9 minutes before giving up. The Lions have decide that they will file a formal complaint with the Commissioner.
Eagles: 5 LOB, 1 DP
Lions: 8 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 46m
Orix Buffaloes 3 - Chiba Lotte Marines 2
W: Masanobu Ohkubo (1-0; .1 IP, H, K, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
L: Brian Sikorski (5-4; .2 IP, 3 H, K, 0 BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER)
Both teams wasted solid efforts by their starters:
Naoyuki Shimizu (LOT) 9 IP, 7 H, 4 K, 0 BB, R, ER
Chihiro Kaneko (ORI) 9 IP, 9 H, 9 K, 0 BB, R, ER
The Marines took a 1-0 lead off Kaneko in the 2nd when Shoitsu Ohmatsu (3-for-4, 2B, R) led off the inning with a double and was bunted over to third. One out later, Kazuya Fukuura (1-for-4, RBI) nailed a 2-out single to left that scored Ohmatsu from third.
In the top of the 3rd, the Marines had the start of something going when Tsuyoshi Nishioka (1-for-4, BB) and Tasuku Hashimoto (1-for-4) hit consecutive singles with 1 out, putting runners on first and second. But Tadahito Iguchi (1-for-5, RBI) grounded into a double play to kill the threat and end the inning. A caught stealing in the 5th with 1 out right before a Toshiaki Imae (1-for-3, 2B) double killed another potential scoring situation for Lotte.
The Buffaloes left 2 runners on the bases in the 5th before finally scoring a run in the 6th, pretty much doing the same exact things the Marines did to score their run in the 2nd: Tomotaka Sakaguchi (2-for-5, 2B, R, RBI) led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a sac bunt, and then scored an out later on Alex Cabrera's (1-for-4, RBI) 2-out, RBI single to left.
Neither team would score a run until the 10th Ryota Katsuki entered the game for the Buffaloes and promptly walked Naotaka Takehara (2-for-3, R, BB) to start things off. A bunt, followed by another walk, put runners on first and second with only 1 out. Tsuyoshi Kikuchihara then relieved Katsuki and struck out pinch-hitter Masahiko Tanaka. The Buffaloes turned to the bullpen again, sending Masanobu Ohkubo to the mound to face Iguchi. But instead of getting him out, he served up a tie-breaking RBI single to give the Marines a 2-1 lead.
Brian Sikorski entered the game for the Marines in the bottom of the 10th and surrendered a lead-off single to Ikki (2-for-4, R). A bunt later, Sikorski hit pinch-hitter Hirotoshi Kitagawa and then gave up an game-tying single to Sakaguchi. Keiji Ohbiki went down swinging for the second out of the inning, but Jose Fernandez (1-for-5, RBI) nailed a 1-1 forkball into center to give the Buffaloes a win in extra innings.
Both teams had 10 hits a piece.
Marines: 8 LOB, 1 DP
Buffaloes: 7 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 2m
Softbank Hawks 2 - Nippon Ham Fighters 1
W: Kenji Ohtonari (4-4; 6 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
Sv: Takahiro Mahara (16)
L: Shugo Fujii (4-4; 5.1 IP, 4 H, K, 3 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Jose Ortiz (1-for-3, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI) got the Hawks on the board first in the bottom of the 3rd when he slammed a 2-run shot off Shugo Fujii.
The Fighters finally scored their lone run in the top of the 6th when Atsunori Inaba (2-for-4, RBI) singled Yoshio Itoi (1-for-4, R) in from second.
In the top of the 8th, the Hawks threatened again, loading the bases with 2 out. But Yoshinori Tateyama bore down and got Nobuhiro Matsuda (1-for-3) to ground out to third.
Takahiro Mahara entered the game in the 9th and struck out the final 2 batters of the inning after giving up a 1-out single to Shinji Takahashi (2-for-4).
Both teams collected 6 hits a piece.
Fighters: 5 LOB, 0 DP
Hawks: 9 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 14m