Hanshin Tigers 1 - Yomiuri Giants 0
W: Atsushi Noumi (4-7; 9 IP, 2 H, 12 K, BB, HBP, 0 R, 0 ER)
Sv: Kyuji Fujikawa (11)
L: Marc Kroon (0-2; 1 IP, 3 H, 2 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
It was a great pitcher's duel between Atsushi Noumi and Tetsuya Utsumi (9 IP, 7 H, 5 K, BB, HBP, 0 R, 0 ER) at the Dome on Sunday. But it was Noumi brilliant 2-hit shut-out over 9 innings that really stole the show -- the Giants never looked so uncomfortable at the plate.
But Utsumi also had himself a pretty solid start, although he did run into trouble a number of times through out the game -- he loaded the bases in the first after getting the first out, but managed to strike out Craig Brazell (3-for-5, 2B) and retired Takahiro Arai (0-for-5) on a grounder to short; he gave up 2 singles in the 6th to put runners on first and second with only 1 out but struck out Arai and go Takashi Toritani to ground out to third; and he kept a runner on second with only 1 out by getting Tomoaki Kanemoto (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) to ground out to short and Brazell to pop-out to the catcher.
With neither team not being able to score a run, the game went into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th, Hara Tatsunori called on Kroon to start the inning and he immediately gave up a double to Keiichi Hirano (1-for-5, 2B, R). A ground out moved Hirano up a base and a strike out meant that the Tigers would have to get a hit in order to score a run. And the next batter did just that: Kanemoto nailed a double into right to score Hirano from third and the Tigers took a 1-0 lead. There was some concern when Kroon gave up a single to Brazell after that, but Kroon then got Arai to strike out to end the inning.
The Tigers brought in Kyuji Fujikawa to close out the game and he retired the side in order for his 11th save of the season.
The Tigers outhit the Giants, 10-2. ... Tatsunori Hara visited the mound prior to Kroon giving up a double to Kanemoto -- he told him he wanted him to go after Kanemoto. ... The Tigers won the series, 2-1. It was the first time for them to win a series against the Giants since May of 2008.
Tigers: 11 LOB, 0 DP
Giants: 3 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 4m
Chunichi Dragons 6 - Yokohama Bay Stars 2
W: Yudai Kawai (10-0; 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 K, BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (26)
L: Ryan Glynn (2-10; 5 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
The Dragons struck first, when Atsushi Fujii (1-for-5, R, RBI) drove Tony Blanco (2-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) home from third and Issei Nakamura (1-for-3, R, RBI) hit a sac fly to score Kazuhiro Wada (1-for-4, BB, 2B, R) from third. Blanco's 2-run homer off Ryan Glynn in the 5th gave the Dragons a 4-0 lead.
The Bay Stars finally got on the board in the bottom of the 5th when Yuki Yoshimura (3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R) came around to score on Noriharu Yamazaki's (0-for-3, BB, RBI) grounder to second. The Bay Stars sent in Yuta Sekiguchi (1-for-1, 2B) to pinch-hit for Glynn on the mound and he hit a double to put runners on second and third. Tatsuhiko Kinjo (2-for-4, 2 RBI) then drove in Yamazaki from third on a ground out to short for the Bay Stars' second run of the inning. Toshihisa Nishi (0-for-2) then flew out to left to end the inning.
Yokohama would score another run in the bottom of the 7th, but that would be as far as they'd get.
Chunichi pushed two more runs across the plate in the top of the 8th on Kazuyoshi Tatsunami's single with the bases loaded.
Hitoki Iwase gave up a lead-off double to start the 9th and almost let things spiral out of control after walking a batter with 2 outs. But he bore down and got Kinjo to foul out to left fielder Masaaki Koike to end the game.
The Dragons outhit the Bay Stars, 9-7. ... Sekiguchi's double in the 5th came in his first pro at bat. ... The Dragons have now won 5 in a row. ... The Dragons swept the series and outscored the Dragons 25-3.
Dragons: 9 LOB, 0 DP
Bay Stars: 7 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 44m
Yakult Swallows 3 - Hiroshima Carp 1
W: Masanori Ishikawa (8-5; 8 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
Sv: Chang-Yong Lim (21)
L: Takeshi Komatsu (2-2; 7 IP, 9 H, K, 0 BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
Andy Phillips knocked out his 4th home run of the season in the bottom of the 1st off Masanori Ishikawa to give the Carp a 1-0. Kenta Kurihara (2-for-4) and Scott McClain (1-for-4) then collected back-to-back singles, but all Tsubasa Aizawa (1-for-4) could do was ground out to second to end the inning.
In the top of the 3rd, the Swallows racked together 4 consecutive hits for 2 runs: with 1 out, Ishikawa (1-for-3, R) hit an infield single; Norichika Aoki (3-for-5, 2B) singled to center to put runner on first and second; Hiroyasu Tanaka (1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI) nailed a double, scoring Ishikawa from second; Aoki also tried to score on the play but was thrown out at home; Kazuki Fukuchi (1-for-4, RBI) hit a 2-out single to right, pushing the go-ahead run in Tanaka across home plate. Jamie D'Antona (0-for-3, BB) then stranded a runner at third by flying out to right.
The Carp put together another scoring opportunity in the bottom half of the 3rd when both Akihiro Higashide (1-for-4) and Phillips collected singles with 1 out. But neither Kurihara (fly out to left) nor McClain (ground ou to third) could get the big hit.
The Swallows tacked on another run in the top of the 6th when Aaron Guiel (1-for-3, BB, 2B, R) doubled after two outs and then came around to score on Shinya Miyamoto's single to center (2-for-4, RBI).
Chang-Yong Lim entered the game in the bottom of the 9th and while he did give up a lead-off single to Kurihara, he was later erased on a double play to end the game.
The Swallows outhit the Carp, 9-7. ... This was Ishikawa's first win since June 14th. ... The Swallows took the series, 2-1.
Swallows: 7 LOB, 1 DP
Carp: 5 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 2h 45m
Seibu Lions - Nippon Ham Fighters
Rakuten Eagles 8 - Orix Buffaloes 7
W: Kazuo Fukumori (3-0; 1 IP, 0 H, K, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
L: Daisuke Kato (3-2; .2 IP, 2 H, K, 2 BB, R, ER)
Tomotaka Sakaguchi's (3-for-5, R, 2 RBI) 2-out, RBI infield single with runners on first and third gave the Buffaloes a 1-0 lead in the 2nd. When Hisashi Iwakuma (4 IP, 8 H, 3 K, 4 BB, 4 R, 4 ER) walked the next batter to load the bases, it appeared as if things would quickly get away from the righty, but he managed to get Jose Fernandez to foul out to the catcher for the final out of the inning.
The Buffaloes tacked on 3 more runs to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the 4th on 2-out RBI singles by Sakaguchi, Makoto Shiozaki (1-for-3, BB, R, RBI), and Alex Cabrera (2-for-2, 3 BB, R, RBI).
The Eagles finally got on the board with 2 runs in their half of the 4th when Fernando Seguignol (3-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI) singled home Teppei (3-for-5, 2 R) from third and Masato Nakamura (1-for-4, RBI) hit a sac fly with the bases loaded to drive Daisuke Kusano (1-for-4, BB, 2B, 3 R) in from third.
Hiromichi Fujiwara came in for Iwakuma in the top of the 5th and got himself into a runners on second and third jam with 2 outs. The inning ended when Naoyuki Ohmura tried to steal home.
In the bottom of half of the 5th, Takeshi Yamasaki (1-for-5, 2 RBI) hit a big 2-run single off Mamoru Kishida (5.1 IP, 10 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 5 R, 2 ER) to tie the game at 4. They tacked on another run in the bottom of the 6th when Kishida tossed a wild pitch that allowed Masato Nakamura to score from third.
The Eagles went through 3 pitchers in the 7th in an attempt to keep the Buffaloes from scoring any runs, but all three let Katsuya Nomura down: Marcus Gwyn faced three batters and left the game with runners on first and second and 1 out; Kanehisa Arime faced two batters and left with the bases loaded and 2 out; and Akira Matsumoto then surrendered a bases clearing triple to Shinji Shimoyama (1-for-2, 2B, 3 RBI) that put the Buffaloes back on top, 7-5.
But Rakuten wasn't about to give up just yet: in the bottom half of the 7th, Seguignol nailed a 2-run home run off Yoshihisa Hirano to tie the game at 7.
Matsumoto stayed in the game for the top of the 8th and almost let the game slip away when he walked to straight batters to load the bases with only 1 out. But he managed to get Hirotoshi Kitagawa (0-for-4, BB, R) to fly out center and Fumikazu Takanami (0-for-1, R) to fly out to right to protect the tie.
Kazuo Fukumori retired the Buffaloes in order in the 9th, but Daisuke Kato could not do the same with the Eagles in the bottom half of the inning: a hit, sandwiched between two walks, loaded the bases with 2 outs; Todd Linden then nailed a game-winning RBI single to right to give the Eagles a walk-off, 8-7 victory over the Buffaloes.
The Eagles outhit the Buffaloes, 16-13. ... The Eagles pitching staff combined for 10 walks in the game. ... The Buffaloes committed 2 errors (once in the 4th and once in the 6th) that led to 3 unearned runs ... Ohmura was taken out of the game after he was hit in the right hand by Arime in the 7th. ... The Eagles took the series, 1-0-1.
Buffaloes: 11 LOB, 0 DP
Eagles: 12 LOB, 2 DP
Time: 4h 25m
Chiba Lotte Marines 3 - Softbank Hawks 1
W: Shogo Ono (6-4; 5.2 IP, 6 H, K, 3 BB, R, ER)
Sv: Brian Sikorski (4)
L: D.J. Houlton (7-4; 8 IP, 4 H, 9 K, 5 BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER)
Tsuyoshi Nishioka (1-for-2, HBP, BB, HR, R, RBI) led-off the game with his 7th home run of the season. In the bottom of the second, Kazuya Fukuura (1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI) nailed a 2-run home run to give the Marines a 3-0 lead.
A caught stealing in the bottom of the third kept the Marines from a big inning and after Tadahito Iguchi (1-for-2, 2 BB) collected a hit in the same inning a batter later, Houlton would settle down and keep the Marines' line-up hitless over the remaining 5.1 innings (he did give up 4 walks over the final 3 innings).
On the other side of the diamond, Shogo Ono held the Hawks scoreless over the first 4 inning. The Hawks finally got on the board in the top of the 5th: Hiroki Kokubo (2-for-3) led off with a single; Hitoshi Tamura (1-for-4) struck out; Yuya Hasegawa (1-for-4, 2B, R) double to center; Kokubo tried to score on the play and was thrown out at home; Hidenori Tanoue (1-for-4, RBI) drove Hawsgawa in from second on a single to left; Arihito Muramatsu (0-for-1, 2 BB) walked; Yuichi Honda (0-for-4) grounded out to first to end the inning.
The Hawks managed to load the bases in the top of the 6th with 2 outs against Shogo Ono, but Valentine yanked Ono at that point and brought in Kodai Matsumoto to protect the 2-run lead. Matsumoto didn't disappoint, getting Hasegawa to hit a bouncer back to the pitcher for the final out of the inning. 2 other Marines' pitchers would keep the Hawks scoreless over the next 2 innings.
Brian Sikorski gave up a lead-off walk in the top of the 9th, but then retired the next 3 batters in order to record his 4th save of the season.
The Hawks outhit the Marines, 6-4. ... The Marines took the series, 2-1.
Hawks: 7 LOB, 0 DP
Marines: 4 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 56m