Yomiuri Giants 6 - Yokohama Bay Stars 2
W: Wirfin Obispo (3-0; 9 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 0 BB, HBP, 2 R, 2 ER)
L: Daisuke Miura (7-6; 7 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 4 R, 3 ER)
Michihiro Ogasawara (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) knocked out his 22nd home run of the season in the top of the 1st of Daisuke Miura to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. They extended their lead to 3-0 when Yoshiyuki Kamei (1-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) and Shinnosuke Abe (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) nailed 2 more solo homers off Miura in the top of the 2nd.
The Bay Stars put their first two runners on base against Wirfin Obispo in the bottom of the first, but didn't actually score until the bottom of the 3rd when Miura (1-for-2, 2B, R) led off the inning with a double, moved to second on Takehiro Ishikawa's (2-for-4) single, and then came around to score 1 out later on Seiichi Uchikawa's (0-for-3, RBI) sac fly to right.
In the top of the 7th, Kamei led off the inning and reached first on a fielding error. He then came around to score on Shigeyuki Furuki's (2-for-4, 2B, 3B, RBI) triple to give the Giants a 4-1 lead. 2 more Giants came around to score when Ogasawara nailed his second home run of the game, with Edgardo Alfonzo (0-for-0, BB, R) on second, in the top of the 8th off Kosuke Kato.
Obispo gave up one more run to the Bay Stars in the bottom of the 9th when Dan Johnson (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) jacked his 13th home run of the season.
The Giants outhit the Bay Stars, 7-6. ... The Giants took the series 2-1. ... After Ishikawa's single in the 3rd, Obpiso went on to retire the next 13 consecutive batters. ... Miura retired 14 consecutive Giants after giving up a double to Shigeyuki Furuki in the top of the 2nd. ... Miura has now given up 22 home runs. ... Tatsunori Hara celebrated his 51st birthday with the Giants winning their 50th victory of the season. ... Obispo picked up his first pro shut-out of his career.
Giants: 3 LOB, 0 DP
Bay Stars: 5 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 31m
Chunichi Dragons 3 - Hiroshima Carp 2
W: Kenta Asakura (7-4; 8 IP, 8 H, 4 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (28)
L: Mike Schultz (2-2; 1 IP, H, 2 K, BB, R, ER)
Kan Ohtake (6 IP, 6 H, 5 K, 5 BB, 2 R, 2 ER) couldn't retire any of the first four batters he faced: he walked Hirokazu Ibata (1-for-3, BB, R); gave up a single to Masahiro Araki (1-for-4, R); allowed a run to score on Masahiko Morino's (2-for-3, BB, 2B, RBI) double to left; and then walked Tony Blanco (0-for-3) to load the bases. Ohtake then got Kazuhiro Wada (1-for-3, BB, RBI) to ground out to third for the first out of the inning, but that also pushed Araki across home for the second run of the inning. Ohtake then retired the next two batters without giving up any more runs.
The Carp finally got on the board and tied the score at 2 in the top of the 4th when Kenta Kurihara (1-for-4, R) and Scott McClain (1-for-4, R) started the inning off with singles. They would both come around to score: Kurihara came around to score on Soichiro Amaya's single to left and Kurihara came around to score on Yoshiyuki Ishihara's (1-for-3, 2B, RBI) grounder to short.
With the score tied at 2, going into the bottom of the 8th, the Carp sent Mike Schultz to the mound. He retired both Blanco and Wada on strike outs, but then gave up a walk to Atsushi Fujii (0-for-2, 2 BB, R). Fujii then stole second and came around to score on Masaaki Koike's (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) single to center.
Hitoki Iwase tossed a perfect 9th, striking out the first two batters of the inning, for his 28th save of the season.
The Carp outhit the Dragons, 8-7. ... The Dragons swept the series, 3-0, and outscored the Carp, 14-9. ... The Dragons have won 8 in a row and are 9-1 over their last 10. ... The Carp have lost 4 in a row and are 1-9 over their last 10.
Carp: 5 LOB, 2 DP
Dragons: 8 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 10m
Yakult Swallows 5 - Hanshin Tigers 0
W: Shohei Tateyama (11-2; 9 IP, 11 H, 4 K, 2 BB, HBP, 0 R, 0 ER)
L: Minoru Iwata (0-1; 4 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 3 R, 2 ER)
Shohei Tateyama pitch into and out of trouble all night, but still managed to keep the Tigers from scoring any runs. A key double play in the 4th inning kept the Tigers likely kept the Tigers from having a big inning. As it was, pinch-hitter Weichu Lin ended the inning when he grounded out to first with the bases loaded.
On offense, the Swallows scored a run in the first when Norichika Aoki (1-for-5, R) led off the inning with an infield hit and later came around to score on Jamie D'Antona's (3-for-4, 3 RBI) single to center. They tacked on 2 more runs in 3rd on RBI singles by D'Antona and Shinya Miyamoto (3-for-4, 3B, RBI).
Yasushi Iihara's (1-for-2, HR, R, RBI) solo homer in the 5th put the Swallows up by 4 and D'Antona's RBI single in the 7th pushed the 5th and final run across the plate.
Both teams connected for 11 hits. ... The Swallows swept the series, 2-0, and outscored the Tigers, 8-2. ... The Tigers are 6-11-1 in the month of July with 4 games left to play. ... Tateyama picked up his 2nd shut-out victory of his career. ... Takashi Toritani was taken out of the game in the top of the 4th inning after he was hit by a pitch in the left calf in the 2nd inning. ... Aaron Guiel was thrown out of the game after arguing ball and strikes in the third inning.
Swallows: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Tigers: 10 LOB, 3 DP
Time: 2h 57m
Nippon Ham Fighters 2 - Chiba Lotte Marines 1
W: Yu Darvish (12-3; 9 IP, 2 H, 6 K, 4 BB, R, ER)
L: Yoshihisa Naruse (4-5; 8 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
It was a pitcher's duel at Sapporo Dome between Yu Darvish and Yoshihisa Naruse. They both pitched to the end, but it was Darvish that ultimately won the match-up, thanks mostly to his batter mate, Shinya Tsuruoka (3-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI). Without his 2-out RBI single in the bottom of the 5th and his solo homer in the bottom of the 8th, the Marines may have won the game.
Incidentally, Darvish almost finished out his 12th victory of the season with a shut-out -- he retired the first two batters of the 9th with strike outs but then hung a slider to Saburo, who drilled his 12th home run of the season. And what's more, he had a no-hitter going into the 7th when Tasuku Hashimoto (1-for-4) broke it up with a 1-out single.
The Fighters outhit the Marines, 7-2. ... The Fighters swept the series, 3-0, and outscored the Marines 13-7. ... The Marines end the first half with a 3-game losing streak. They are 6-14 with 4 games left on the schedule in July.
Marines: 5 LOB, 1 DP
Fighters: 3 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 19m
Orix Buffaloes 4 - Seibu Lions 2
W: Daisuke Kato (4-2; 2 IP, 0 H, 2 K, BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
Sv: Masanobu Ohkubo (1)
L: Chikara Onodera (2-3; 2 IP, 4 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Tomotaka Sakaguchi (2-for-5, R) led off the game with a single and moved up to second on a sac bunt. Jose Fernandez (2-for-4, 2B) followed with a single to put runners on first and third. Sakaguchi then came around to score on Alex Cabrera's (2-for-4, BB, RBI) single to left. Another single by Hirotoshi Kitagawa (2-for-5, R) loaded the bases with still only 1 out. But Kazuyuki Hoashi (7 IP, 7 H, 4 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER) struck out the next two batters to wiggle out of the inning without allowing any more damage.
The Lions countered with consecutive singles to start the bottom of the 1st, but Shogo Yamamoto (6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 4 BB, R, ER) stopped things there and retired the next three batters in order. The Lions put together another threat in the 2nd with runners on first and second and only 1 out, but neither Ginjiro (0-for-3) nor Yasuyuki Kataoka (2-for-5) could deliver.
In the top of the 7th, the Buffaloes extended their lead to 2-0 when Ikki's nailed his 2nd home run of the season off Hoashi. With Yamamoto still on the mound for the Marines, the Lions finally managed to answer back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning on Taketoshi Goto's (1-for-3, BB, HR, R, RBI) first home run of the season. And Takeya Nakamura's (1-for-5, HR, R, RBI) 31st home run of the season in the bottom of the 8th off Ryota Katsuki tied the game at 2.
Both team went down in order in the 9th, pushing the game into extra innings.
In the top of the 11th, with Chikara Onodera on the mound for the Lions, consecutive 1-out singles by Cabrera and Kitagawa put runners on first and second. Onodera then gave up a big tie-breaking, 2-run triple to Shinji Shimoyama (2-for-5, 2 RBI) that gave the Buffaloes a 4-2 lead.
Masanobu Ohkubo struck out the side in the bottom of the 11th to record his first save of the season.
The Buffaloes outhit the Lions, 11-7. ... The Lions took the series, 2-1. .... The Buffaloes ended their 3-game losing streak with the win. ... Nakamura "dedicated" his home run to his newly born baby boy.
Buffaloes: 7 LOB, 2 DP
Lions: 8 LOB, 2 DP
Time: 3h 46m
Softbank Hawks 7 - Rakuten Eagles 6
W: Tadashi Settsu (3-2; 1.2 IP, 2 H, K, BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
Sv: Takahiro Mahara (19)
L: Hiromichi Fujiwara (0-3; 3 IP, 2 H, 4 K, BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
Todd Linden (2-for-4, BB, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) led off the game with his 4th home run of the season to give the Eagles a quick 1-0 lead. But Kohei Hasebe (1.2 IP, 6 H, 0 K, 0 BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER) couldn't protect the lead: with 2 outs, Nobuhiko Matsunaka (2-for-3, HBP, 2B, R) doubled to right and then moved to third on a wild pitch; Hiroki Kokubo (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI) followed with a single, scoring Matsunaka from third to tie the game at 1; Hitoshi Tamura (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI) then smacked his 12th home run of the season to put the Hawks on top, 3-1. The inning ended with the next batter, but the damage was already done.
In the bottom of the 2nd, with Hasebe still on the mound for the Eagles, Yuya Hasegawa (1-for-3, R, RBI) led off with a single to center, followed by another single by Kenta Nakanishi (1-for-3), and a sac bunt to move both runners up a base. Hasegawa then came around to score on Yuichi Honda's (2-for-4, BB, 2 R, RBI) single to center to give the Hawks a 4-1. A ground out and a HBP later, Hasebe's night was over.
The Hawks went on to score a run in the 3rd, on a sac fly by Hawsegawa, and a run in the 4th when Hiromichi Fujiwara uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Honda to score from third.
Despite being down 6-1 after 4 innings of play, the Eagles weren't ready to give up. With 2 outs in the top of the 5th, the Eagles began to chip away. Toshiya Sugiuchi (5.1 IP, 6 H, 7 K, 4 BB, 6 R, 6 ER) walked Linden, gave up a single to Naoto Watanabe (1-for-3, BB, R) and then gave up a 3-run dinger to Teppei (1-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI), allowing the Eagles right back into the game.
With the score 6-4 in the top of the 6th, Sugiuchi started things off by walking Fernando Seguignol (1-for-4, BB, R). 1 batter and 1 out later, Ryuji Miyade (1-for-3, R) singled to right to put runners at first and second. Sugiuchi then walked Norihiro Nakamura (1-for-3, BB) to load the bases, effectively ending his night on the mound. Tadashi Settsu relieved Sugiuchi and then proceeded to give up RBI single to pinch-hitter Masato Nakamura (1-for-2, RBI) and Linden. Mission accomplished, the Eagles managed to tie the score at 6.
But the celebrations wouldn't last very long. After Fujiwara gave up a lead-off single to Honda and saw him move to second on a bunt, then to third on Matsunaka's single, the Eagles turned to Marcus Gwyn to get them out of the jam. But he ended up surrendering a single to Kokubo that scored the game winning run.
The Eagles did come pretty close to pushing across another game-tying run in each of the last 2 innings -- Linden struck out to end the inning with a runner on third in the 8th; and Seguignol struck out to end the game with a runner on third in the 9th -- but they just could not get the big hit.
The Hawks outhit the Eagles, 10-9. ... The Hawks took the series, 2-1. ... The Eagles are 6-12-1 with 3 games left to play to July. ... The 6 runs Sugiuchi allowed were the most he's given up this season.
Eagles: 8 LOB
Hawks: 6 LOB
Time: 3h 24m