Yokohama Bay Stars 7 - Yomiuri Giants 1
W: Les Walrond (5-7; 6 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 3 BB, HBP, R, ER)
L: Shun Tono (4-5; 5 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 5 R, 4 ER)
The Giants loaded the bases after Les Walrond retired the first two batters in order. But all Masakuni Odajima (0-for-3) could do was ground out to short.
A fielding error by Odajimi on the first play in the bottom of the first set the stage for Shigeru Morikasa's (2-for-3, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI) run-scoring double and Shuichi Murata's (3-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI) run-scoring single. Murata's 19th home run in the bottom of the third of Giants' starter Shun Tono, made it 3-0. The Bay Stars scored 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th when Morikasa hit his second double of the game with runners on second and third.
In the top of the 7th, the Giants finally scored a run off Les Walrond when Edgardo Alfonzo (1-for-2, R) came around to score from third on Michihiro Ogasawara's (3-for-3, BB, RBI) single to right. Alex Ramirez then grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Aside from the first inning, the Giants also left runners on first and second in the 3rd when Odajima struck out to end the inning; and left runners on first and second when Alex Ramirez (1-for-4) struck out and Yoshiyuki Kamei (1-for-3, HBP) grounded out to third.
The Bay Stars scored another run in the bottom of the 7th and their 7th and final run in the bottom of the 8th on Yuki Yoshimura's (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) 11th home run of the season.
Both teams collected 9 hits. ... Morikasa started in place of Seiichi Uchikawa. Uchikawa complained of tightness in his both his calf muscles prior to the game. ... Hayato Sakamoto was no in the Giants' starting line-up due to tightness in his lower back. ... The 5 runs that Tono gave up were the most he's giving up this season.
Giants: 9 LOB, 3 DP
Bay Stars: 4 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 9m
Chunichi Dragons 4 - Hiroshima Carp 3
W: Takuya Asao (6-6; 2 IP, 3 H, K, BB, R, ER)
L: Mike Schultz (2-1; 1 IP, 2 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Kenichi Nakata (6.2 IP, 8 H, 6 K, 2 BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER) got Yoshiyuki Ishihara (0-for-3) to ground into a 6-3 double play with runners on first and second with only 1 out in the top of the 2nd. The Dragons then took a 2-0 lead on Masahiko Morino's 2-run double off Colby Lewis (7 IP, 3 H, 6 K, 4 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) in the bottom of the 3rd.
In the top of the 6th, the Carp finally broke through against Nakata and tied the score at 2, when Kenta Kurihara (2-for-5, R) and Masafumi Suenaga (1-for-3, BB, 2B, R) scored on Soichiro Amaya's (1-for-3, HBP, 2 RBI) single to right. They took the lead in the top of the 8th on Shigenobu Shima's (1-for-1, 2B, RBI) pinch-hit, RBI double off Takuya Asao. But that lead would quickly disappear.
The Carp sent Mike Schultz to the mound in the bottom of the 8th to try and protect the lead. But instead of doing that, he gave up a lead-off single to Hirokazu Ibata (2-for-4, 2 R) and walked Morino 1 out later to put runners on first and second. Tony Blanco (0-for-3) then flied out to center, deep enough for Ibata tag up and advance to third. Ibata wouldn't stay at third for very long as he came around to score on Kazuhiro Wada's (1-for-3, BB, RBI) single to center. With the game now tied at 3, Schultz walked pinch-hitter Kazuyoshi Tatsunami and then allowed the tie-breaking fourth run to score on a wild pitch.
Asao gave up a 2-out walk to Andy Phillips (0-for-3, 2 BB) before retiring Kurihara for the final out of the game.
The Carp outhit the Dragons, 11-5. ... The Carp have now lost 9 straight games to the Dragons. ... The Dragons are now only 2.5 games behind the Giants.
Carp: 10 LOB, 1 DP
Dragons: 6 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 1m
Yakult Swallows 3 - Hanshin Tigers 2
W: Yuki (3-2; 5 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 3 BB, HBP, R, ER)
Sv: Chang-Yong Lim (26)
L: Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (5-7; 5 IP, 4 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
Keizo Kawashima's (3-for-4, HR, R, RBI) 8th home run of the season put the Swallows up 1-0 in the top of the second. Kazuhiro Hatakeyama's (0-for-3, RBI) sac fly in the 4th, put the Swallows up 2-0. And Kazuki Fukuchi's (0-for-3, RBI) sac fly in the 5th gave the Swallows another run that would ultimately become the game-winner.
The Tigers left the bases loaded with 1 out in the first when both Craig Brazell (1-for-4) and Takahiro Arai (1-for-4, RBI) struck out to end the inning. But the Tigers would get a run home in the bottom of the 5th on a sac fly by Tomoaki Kanemoto (0-for-3, BB, RBI). They would strand runners on first and third in the bottom of the 6th before Arai hit a 2-out RBI single in the bottom of the 7th to cut the Swallows lead to 1.
Chang-Yong Lim entered the game in the bottom of the 9th for the Swallows. After striking out Norihiro Akahoshi (1-for-5) to start the inning, the next batter reached on Shinichi Takeuchi throwing error. But Lim got Kanemoto to ground into a game-ending double play.
The Tigers outhit the Swallows, 9-6. ... Shimoyanagi has now lost 5 straight.
Swallows: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Tigers: 11 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 44m
Nippon Ham Fighters 4 - Chiba Lotte Marines 3
W: Shugo Fujii (5-4; 6 IP, 3 H, 3 K, BB, R, ER)
Sv: Hisashi Takeda (18)
L: Yuta Ohmine (2-5; 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 K, BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER)
The Fighters put runners on first and second in the bottom of the 1st with 1 out, but neither Shinji Takahashi (0-for-4) nor Terrmel Sledge (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) could deliver the big hit. In the top of the 2nd, the Marines got a little rally of their own going with runners on first and second with 2 out, but Koichi Hori (0-for-2) grounded out to short to end the inning.
Takahashi and Sledge once again stranded runners on 2 runners on base in the bottom of the 3rd, but the Fighters would not let their third scoring opportunity go by in the 4th: Eiichi Koyano (2-for-4, R) led off with the single and was bunted over to second; Shota Ohno (1-for-2, BB, 2B, R, RBI) doubled to left, scoring Koyano from second to give the Fighters a 1-0 lead; 1 out later, Kensuke Tanaka (1-for-3, BB, RBI) drove Ohno home from second with a single to center.
The Fighters tacked on 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th on two solo homers by Yoshio Itoi (2-for-3, HBP, HR, R, RBI) and Sledge.
Meanwhile, Shugo Fujii retired 11 Buffaloes before giving up a single to Shoitsu Ohmatsu in the top of the 7th. He was lifted at this point for Kazumasa Kikuchi, but he didn't really help matters any as he surrendered a single to Naotaka Takehara (1-for-4, R) and then a 3-run bomb to Saburo (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), cutting the Fighters lead to 1. But Kikuchi settled down after the home run and got out of the inning without any further damage.
Hisashi Takeda tossed a perfect 9th for his 18th save.
The Fighters outhit the Marines, 9-6.
Marines: 4 LOB, 0 DP
Fighters: 8 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 55m
Seibu Lions 4 - Orix Buffaloes 1
W: Takayuki Kishi (10-1; 5 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 3 BB, HBP, R, ER)
Sv: Chikara Onodera (12)
L: Chihiro Kaneko (8-6; 8 IP, 7 H, 10 K, BB, 4 R, ER)
After Tomotaka Sakaguchi (0-for-3, HBP) popped out to the catch to lead-off the game, Keiji Ohbiki (2-for-4, 2B, R) singled and Jose Fernandez (1-for-4, 2B) doubled to left to put runners on second and third. A walk to Alex Cabrera (2-for-2, 2 BB) loaded the bases and Greg LaRocca's sac fly to center scored Sakaguchi from third. Takayuki Kishi then got Naoyuki Ohmura (0-for-4) to ground out to first to end the inning with runners left on second and third.
The Lions tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the 2nd when G.G. Sato (2-for-3, 2B, R) hit a double that to right that Hiroyuki Oze bobbled, allowing Takeya Nakamura to score from first (1-for-4, R).
The Buffaloes threatened in the top of the 3rd (runners on first and second with 2 out) and 4th (bases loaded with 2 outs), but could not deliver the big hit off Kishi. Another opportunity quickly disappeared when Cabrera got thrown out trying to get from first to third on a single to right by LaRocca with only 1 out in the top of the 5th. These three missed opportunities would come back to haunt the Buffaloes in the bottom of the 5th.
With Chihiro Kaneko still on the mound for the Buffaloes, G.G. Sato and Takayuki Shimizu (1-for-3, R) led of the inning with consecutive singles. A bunt by Yutaro Ohsaki moved runners up a base. The Buffaloes had G.G. Sato dead to rights when he took off third on the first pitch -- the Lions called for a squeeze play but Kaneko threw a waste pitch -- but when the catcher tried to throw over to third to get Sato off the bag, the ball ended up hitting Sato in the back and rolled out into foul territory, allowing Sato to ultimately score and put the Lions up, 2-1. Ginjiro (1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI) then nailed a double to right, scoring Shimizu from third. Yasuyuki Kataoka (1-for-4) struck out for the second out of the inning, but Ginjiro did come around to score when the next batter, Takumi Kuriyama (1-for-3, BB, RBI), singled to right. The inning finally ended when Hiroyuki Nakajima (0-for-4) grounded out to third.
After the 5th, neither team would put up much of any fight: a combination of Koji Ohnuma, Tetsuya Iwasaki, and Chikara Onodera held the Buffaloes to 1 hit over 4 inning; Kaneko retired 7 consecutive batters, starting with the final out of the 5th, and held the Lions to a hit and a walk.
Chikara Onodera tossed a perfect 9th for his 12th save of the season.
Both teams collected 7 hits. ... The Buffaloes have lost 8 straight to Kishi. ... Kishi has now won 10+ games in each of his 3 seasons since getting on the Ichi-gun roster in 2007. Daisuke Matsuzaka was the last pitcher to start his first 3 seasons with 10+ wins.
Buffaloes: 8 LOB, 1 DP
Lions: 3 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 43m
Rakuten Eagles 4 - Softbank Hawks 3
W: Satoshi Nagai (7-4; 6 IP, 7 H, 8 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Sv: Tanaka Masahiro (1)
L: Keiji Ohtonari (4-5; 7 IP, 10 H, 6 K, BB, 4 R, 4 ER)
Takeshi Yamasaki's (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) 18th home run of the season gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With 1 out in the top of the 4th, Teppei (1-for-4, 3B, R) nailed a triple to right and scored 1 out later on a single to left by Daisuke Kusano (1-for-4, RBI). The Eagles put runners on first and third in the top of the 5th with 1 out, but Keiji Ohtonari struck out Naoto Watanabe (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) and got Teppei to ground out to short to end the inning.
In the top of the 6th, the Eagles extened their lead to 3-0 on Yamasaki's second home run of the game. The Hawks also finally managed to push 2 runs across the plate against Satoshi Nagai in the bottom half of the 6th on RBI singles by Jose Ortiz (1-for-3, RBI) and Hiroki Kokubo (2-for-4, 2B, RBI)
The Eagles scored an insurance run in the top of the 7th when Jin Nakatani (1-for-2, R) came around to score from second on Watanabe's double to left. The run ended up becoming really important as the Hawks touched Hiromichi Fujiwara for a run (and almost more) in the bottom of the 8th: Yuichi Honda (1-for-4, 2 R) and Munenori Kawasaki (2-for-4, R) hit consecutive singles to start the inning, putting runners on first and third; Satoru Morimoto's (0-for-3) grounder to short allowed Honda to score from third and erased Kawasaki; a wild pitch moved Morimoto to second; Fujiwara got Nobuhiko Matsunaka (0-for-3, BB) to ground out to second, pushing Morimoto to third; Kazuo Fukumori replaced Fujiwara on the mound and retired Kokubo on a fly out to center to end the inning.
Masahiro Tanaka tossed a perfect 9th to record his first save of the season.
The Eagles outhit the Hawks, 11-9. ... The Eagles are now 6-3-1 over their last 10 games. ... A seasonal high 36,239 packed Yahoo Dome. ... Todd Linden was tossed in the 9th after he was called out on strikes and argued with the home plate ump. ... Ortiz left the game in the bottom of the 6th with pain in his side after trying to score on a close play at home plate.
Eagles: 6 LOB, 2 DP
Hawks: 5 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 13m