Chunichi Dragons 6 - Hanshin Tigers 4
W: Kenta Asakura (6-4; 5 IP, 8 H, 3 K, BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (25)
L: Tomoyuki Kubota (0-1; 2.1 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
After Tomoyuki Kubota retired the first batter of the game on a fly ball to center and Masahiro Araki (2-for-5) was thrown out trying to steal second after getting on base with a single, he walked Masahiko Morino (2-for-2, 2 BB, 3 R, RBI) and allowed him to score on a double by Tony Blanco (2-for-3, 2 BB, 2 2B, R, RBI). Kubota then walked Kazuhiro Wada (0-for-3, BB) before ending the inning by striking out Atsushi Fujii (1-for-3).
The Tigers fought back and tied the game in the bottom 1st on Craig Brazell's (3-for-4, RBI) 2-out RBI single. The Dragons pulled ahead again in the top of the 2nd when Hirokazu Ibata (1-for-4, BB, 2B, R, RBI) doubled home Keiji Oyama (1-for-3, R) from first.
In the bottom of the 2nd, the Tigers tied the game at 2 on a sac fly by Kentaro Sekimoto (1-for-3, R, RBI) and then took the lead on Ikuro Katsuragi's (1-for-3, RBI) run-scoring single to right. But the Dragons put up a 2-spot of their own in the top of the third: Morino led off the inning with a single; Blanco double to center to put runners on second and third; Morino scored the tying run on Wada's sac fly to right; Fujii singled to right to put runners on first and third; and with Masashi Sajikihara now on the mound for the Tigers, Hidenori (1-for-4, 2 RBI) drove in Blanco from third with a single to right, giving the Dragons a 4-3 lead. Sajikihara retired the next two batters in order to end the inning.
Both teams would score a run a peice in the 4th, but the Tigers didn't make great use of their scoring opportunity.
Taichi Okazaki (2-for-4, 2 R) and pinch-hitter Weichu Lin started off the 4th with singles, putting runners on first and third. Okazaki then scored on Keiichi Hirano's (0-for-3, HBP, RBI) grounder to third. Sekimoto and Katsuragi went down quietly after that to end the inning.
The score would remain 5-4 until the top of the 7th with Jeff Williams on the mound for the Tigers. Williams walked the first two batters he faced before retiring Wada for the first out of the inning. Another ball loaded the bases and Hidenori's sac fly gave the Dragons another run. Williams walked the next batter and was then replaced by Scott Atchison, who struck out Masaaki Koike (0-for-1) to end the inning.
Hitoki Iwase needed only 7 pitches to retire the side in order in the bottom of the 9th for his 25th save of the season.
The Dragons outhit the Tigers, 10-9. ... Asakura won his first game since May 25th. ... This was Williams' first game since returning to Ichi-gun. ... This was Kubota's first start this season. ... Sajikihara ran his no loss streak to 107 games. ... The Dragons took the series, 2-1.
Dragons: 12 LOB, 0 DP
Tigers: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 35m
Yokohama Bay Stars 5 - Hiroshima Carp 4
W: Hiroki Sanada (3-2; 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 K, BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
L: Ryuji Yokoyama (1-4; 1 IP, H, 0 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
The Bay Stars scored a run when Shinji Niinuma (0-for-1, 2 BB) hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the top of the 2nd. Kan Ohtake (6 IP, 8 H, 3 K, 4 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) then struck out Takehiro Ishikawa (0-for-2), with a runner on third, to end the inning. The Carp managed to put runners on first and third with 1 out in their half of the inning, but Daisuke Miura (7 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) got Yoshiyuki Ishihara to tap into a 6-3 double play to end the inning.
Yokohama extended their lead to 2-0 in the top of the 4th on Tatsuya Shimozono's (2-for-3, R, RBI) sac fly to right. The Carp finally broke through in the bottom of the 4th on a sac fly by Andy Phillips (0-for-4, RBI) with runners on first and third and only 1 out.
In the top of the 6th, the Shuichi Murata (3-for-5, 2 2B, R) led off the inning with a double, followed by a Dan Johnson (1-for-2, 3 BB, R) single. With runners on first and third, Shimozono hit a grounder to third. Murata was off the base and Scott McClain quickly tagged him out for the first out of the inning. Ohtake then walked Niinuma to load the bases, before giving up a pinch-hit, 2-run single to Takahiro Saeki (1-for-1, 2 RBI). On the same play, Niinuma was thrown out trying to get to third from first base. The inning ended when Ohtake struck out Miura.
Heading into the bottom of the 7th, Miura had given up just 1 run on 5 hits. The Carp would touch him up for two more runs on solo homers by McClain and Takuro Ishii (2-for-3, HR, R, RBI), pulling the Carp to within 1. In the bottom of the 9th, pinch-hitter Jun Hirose (0-for-1, RBI) laid down the perfect bunt for a game-tying squeeze play that would push the game into extra innings.
Noriharu Yamazaki (1-for-2, 2B, R) led off the top of the 11th with a double to left. Tatsuhiko Kinjo (0-for-1) bunted him over to third and Yuki Yoshimura's grounder scored the tying-breaking run.
Hiroki Sanada retired the side in order in the bottom of the 11th and picked up his third win of the season.
The Bay Stars outhit the Carp, 12-9. ... The Carp have now lost 6 in a row. ... Don't look now, but the Bay Stars have won 5 in a row. ... The Bay Stars swept the 3-game series against the Carp and outscored them, 16-7.
Bay Stars: 9 LOB, 2 DP
Carp: 8 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 4h 15m
Rakuten Eagles 3 - Seibu Lions 1
W: Kohei Hasebe (5-7; 6 IP, 5 H, 5 K, BB, R, ER)
Sv: Kazuo Fukumori (1)
L: Fumiya Nishiguchi (3-3; 6 IP, 7 H, 8 K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
The Eagles grabbed an early 2-0 lead on solo home runs by Todd Linden (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) and Takeshi Yamasaki (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI). In the top of the 2nd, the Eagles loaded the bases with only 1 out, but Fumiya Nishiguchi managed to strike out both Linden and Naoto Watanabe (0-for-4) to end the inning.
The Lions finally got on the board in the bottom of the 4th on Hiroyuki Nakajima's (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) 14th home run of the season.
Rakuten tacked on another run in the top of the 6th when Daisuke Kusano (1-for-4, RBI) drove in a runner on second with a single to right. Ginjiro (1-for-2) managed to get a lead-off singled in the bottom half of the inning, but was quickly erased when the Eagles' centerfielder, Teppei, came charging in and caught Yasuyuki Kataoka's (0-for-4) fly ball and Ginjiro couldn't make it back to first.
Seibu put together anothe scoring opportunity in the bottom of the 7th when Takeya Nakamura (1-for-4) singled and Akira Eto (0-for-2, BB) walked. Katsuya Nomura turned to the pen at that point and brought in Koji Aoyama to relieve Kohei Hasebe. Aoyama retired the next three batters in order to protect the Eagles' 3-1 lead.
Kazuo Fukumori tossed a perfect 9th to record his 1st save of the year.
The Eagles outhit the Lions, 7-5. ... Hasebe's last win came on June 17th against the Hiroshima Carp during Inter-league play. ... Lions' manager Hisanobu Watanabe loaded the line-up with 8 righties to combat the lefty Hasebe. ... Nishiguchi has not won a game since May 14th. ... The Eagles took the series, 2-1.
Eagles: 5 LOB, 1 DP
Lions: 4 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 2h 59m
Orix Buffaloes 10 - Chiba Lotte Marines 5
W: Masanobu Ohkubo (2-0; IP, H, 0 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
L: Shunsuke Watanabe (1-8; 5.1 IP, 9 H, 0 K, BB, 6 R, 6 ER)
Benny Agbayani's (3-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI) 2-out single in the top of the second drove Tomoya Satozoki (2-for-4, R) in from second. The trailing runner, Naotaka Takehara (0-for-2, 2 BB) tried to go from first to third and was thrown out at third to end the inning.
With a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 2nd, Shunsuke Watanabe really need to set the Orix order down in order, but instead he gave up a single and double to start off the inning. Naoyuki Ohmura's sac fly tied the game at 1 and Ikki's (2-for-4, 2B, 3 R, 4 RBI) single gave the Buffaloes a 2-1 lead. Hiroyuki Oze (3-for-4, 2B, 3B, R, 3 RBI) kept the inning going with a single to left and Fumihiro Suzuki (0-for-2) moved the runners up a base with a grounder to short. Tomotaka Sakaguchi's (1-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI) triple cleared the bases and gave the Buffaloes a 4-1 lead. The inning finally ended when Keiji Ohbiki (0-for-5) grounded out to third.
In the top of the 3rd, Koichi Hori led off the inning and reached first on an error. And if not for Tsuyoshi Nishioka's GIDP, the Marines would have scored a run or two since both Toshiaki Imae (1-for-5) and Tadahito Iguchi (2-for-5, R) followed with singles. The inning ended when Shoitsu Ohmatsu (0-for-4) struck out. The Buffaloes also threatened in the bottom of the 3rd when they had runners on second and third with only 1 out, but neither Ohmura, nor Ikki were able to delivery.
But the game would begin to move in favor of the Marines, starting from the 4th: Saburo (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) nailed his 10th home run of the season in the top of the 4th; Saburo came through again in the top of the 5th with a 2-out single that pushed Iguchi across the plate; and the Marines took a 5-4 lead in the top of the 6th when Benny nailed a 2-run home run off Masanobu Ohkubo. And then the momentum changed hands.
The Buffaloes regained the lead in the bottom half of the 6th when Oze nailed a triple with runners on first and third. They extended the lead to 10-5 in the bottom of the 7th when Ikki hit a 3-run double and Oze followed with an RBI double.
Chiba did put up a bit of fight in the top of the 8th when they managed to get runners on first and second, but Nishioka flew out to right to end the inning. The Marines went down in order in the 9th
The Buffaloes outhit the Marines, 12-11. ... The Marines have now lost 7 in a row, something they haven't done since September of 2006. ... The Buffaloes swept the series and outscored the Marines, 16-9.
Marines: 8 LOB, 2 DP
Buffaloes: 5 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 59m
Nippon Ham Fighters 3 - Softbank Hawks 2
W: Kazumasa Kikuchi (2-1; 1.1 IP, 0 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
Sv: Hisashi Takeda (17)
L: Toshiya Sugiuchi (9-2; 7 IP, 3 H, 6 K, 6 BB, 3 R, 2 ER)
Despite giving up 3 walks and 2 hits over the first 5 innings of the game, Toshiya Sugiuchi did a pretty decent job in holding the Fighters scoreless. Hidenori Tanoue's (1-for-3, RBI) run-scoring single in the bottom of the 5th even gave Sugiuchi a 1-0 lead. But the walks finally caught up to him in the top of the 6th.
Sugiuchi walked Hichori Morimoto (0-for-2, 2 BB, R) to lead-off the 6th, then saw him bunted over to second by Atsunori Inaba (1-for-3). He managed to retire Shinji Takahashi (1-for-3, BB) on a grounder to short, but then walked Terrmel Sledge (0-for-1, 3 BB, R) to put runners on first and second with 2 out. Eichi Koyano (1-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI) then followed with a bases clearing triple and scored on the next play when Yuichi Honda made a bad throw to first on Yoshio Itoi's (0-for-4) grounder to second. The inning ended when Itoi was caught trying to steal second.
The Hawks managed to push their last and final run across in the bottom of the 8th on a sac fly by Jose Ortiz (1-for-3, RBI).
Hisashi Takeda retired the side in order in the bottom of the 9th to pick up his 17th save of the season.
The Hawks outhit the Fighters, 8-3. ... A faster, more abled outfielder may have been able to catch up to Koyano's triple in the 6th. Unfortunately for the Hawks, it was Ortiz out in the field -- he couldn't time his jump properly and the ball hit the fence and bounced around a bit. ... The Hawks have lost 2 in a row for the first time in about 2 months. ... Sugiuchi's personal 7-game winning streak came to an end. ... Inaba's sac hit is the first since 2006. ... The Fighters took the series, 2-1.
Fighters: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Hawks: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 8m