Chunichi Dragons 5 - Yomiuri Giants 3
W: Weiyin Chen (4-2; 6.2 IP, 8 H, 5 K, BB, 3 R, 2 ER)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (29)
L: Wirfin Obispo (3-1; 7 IP, 6 H, 8 K, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 4 R, 4 ER)
Wirfin Obispo had a wiild start, giving up a hit and 2 walks to load the bases in the top of the 1st. But he bore down and struck out Atsushi Fujii (0-for-4) to end the inning. He put two more runners on base in the 2nd on a hit and an HBP, but once again managed to wiggle out of the inning. The Dragons would finally touch Obispo for a run in the top of the 4th on Masaaki Koike's (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) 5th home run of the season.
Meanwhile, the Giants stranded runners on first and third in the bottom of the 3rd after Weiyin Chen retired the first 8 batters in a row to start the game.
In the top of the 5th, the Dragons extended their lead on Tony Blanco's 29th home run of the year. The Giants answered back with 2 runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 2: Shinnosuke Abe (1-for-4, R) and Takuya Kimura (1-for-4, R) connected for consecutive singles to start the inning; a fielding error loaded the bases; Hayato Sakamoto (2-for-5, 2 RBI) then hit a 3-2 fastball into left for a 2-run single.
Still on the mound for the Giants in the top of the 7th, Obispo an HBP between two strike outs and then gave up a tie-breaking, 2-run shot to Masahiko Morino (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI). Edgardo Alfonzo (1-for-2, HR, R< RBI) entered the game in the bottom of the 7th as a pinch-hitter for Obispo and smacked his 2nd home run of the season to bring the Giants to within one.
Tatsunori Hara brought in Daisuke Ochi to pitch in the top of the 8th to keep the Dragons' lead at one. But instead of doing that, he surrendered a lead-off home run to Kazuhiro Wada (1-for-3, BB, HR, R, RBI) to give the Dragons a 5-3 lead.
The Giants went down in order in the 8th and Hitoki Iwase tossed a perfect 9th for his 29th save of the year.
The Giants outhit the Dragons, 8-7.
Dragons: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Giants: 8 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 18m
Yakult Swallows 6 - Hiroshima Carp 2
W: Masanori Ishikawa (9-5; 8 IP, 5 H, K, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 ER)
L: Kenta Maeda (5-10; 6 IP, 7 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 3 R, ER)
Masanori Ishikawa did a great job of keeping the Carp off-balance, holding them to just 3 hits over the first 6 innings of the game. The Carp finally scored a run of Ishikawa in the top of the 7th Soichiro Amaya (1-for-4, 3B, R) led off the inning and then scored on Kenta Kurihara (2-for-2, BB, RBI) sac fly to left. Hiroshima pushed across their second run of the game in the top of the 8th on Yoshiyuku Ishihara's (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) 5th home run of the season.
On the other side of the diamond, Kenta Maeda struggled through the first 3 innings of the game, getting out of jams in the 2nd (runners on first and second with 1 out) and 3rd innings (runners on first and second with 2 out). The luck finally ran out in the bottom of the 4th when Shinya Miyamoto (2-for-4, RBI) came through with a 1-out RBI single with runners on first and second. An error in the bottom of the 6th spelled disaster for Maeda as he then gave up a 2-out, RBI double to Ryoji Aikawa (1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI), followed by an RBI single to Kenzo Kawashima (2-for-4, RBI).
With Hirofumi Ueno on the mound for the Carp to start the 7th, the Swallows got to work on extending their lead: after Norichika Aoki (0-for-4) flied out to start the inning, Hiroyasu Tanaka (1-for-3, BB) hit a single. Kazuki Fukuchi (1-for-4, 2 R) then grounded into a force. Jamie D'Antona (2-for-4) followed with a single to right, putting runners on first and third with 2 out. Tsuyoshi Ueda then replaced D'Antona at first before Aaron Guiel (1-for-3, BB, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) smacked a 2-1 shuto over the center field fence for his 16th home run of the season.
The Swallows outhit the Carp, 10-5. ... The Swallows are riding a modest 4 game winning streak. ... Ishikawa needed only 87 pitches to get through 8 inning. ... Maeda has lost 5-games in a row, the second such streak for him this season.
Carp: 3 LOB, 1 DP
Swallows: 6 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 2h 36m
Hanshin Tigers 5 - Yokohama Bay Stars 4
W: Kyuji Fujikawa (2-1; .2 IP, H, 0 K, 2 BB, R, ER)
L: Atsushi Kizuka (3-3; 1 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
A lead-off walk, a sac bunt, and an error put runners on first and third in the top of the 1st. Shuichi Murata then jacked his 20th home run of the season off Tigers' starter, Yuya Ando (6 IP, 9 H, 5 K, BB, 3 R, 2 ER), to give the Bay Stars a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers immediately returned a run in the bottom of the first when Kentaro Sekimoto (2-for-6, R, RBI) came around to score from third on a ground out by Tomoaki Kanemoto (0-for-3, RBI).
In the top of the 3rd, the Bay Stars had runners on first and second with only 1 out, but neither Shingo Takeyama (1-for-5) nor Takehiro Ishikawa (0-for-5) could get the job done. In the bottom half of the inning, the Tigers pulled to within 1 on Takashi Toritani's (2-for-3, 2 BB, 2B, R, RBI) RBI single to left off Yokohama starter Hayato Terahara (5.1 IP, 7 H, 8 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 2 ER). The Tigers then managed to tie the game in the the bottom of the 6th when Akihiro Yano (1-for-4, BB, R) came around to score on Norihio Akahoshi's (3-for-5, IBB R, RBI) single to center.
With Hirotaka Egusa on the mound for the Tigers in the 7th, Seiichi Uchikawa (2-for-4, BB, HR, 2 R, RBI) led off the inning with a tie-breaking home run to left. In the bottom half of the inning, the Bay Stars sent Hiroki Sanada to the mound. He promptly walked the first two batters he faced, but then retired Takahiro Arai (1-for-5), Craig Brazell (0-for-5), and Yano to wiggle out of a potentially disastrous inning. But the Tigers did prevail in the bottom of the 9th when Shun Yamaguchi walked Toritani to start the inning, wild pitched him to second, and then 1 out later, allowed him to score on an Arai's timely single to right.
The Bay Stars went down in order in the top of the 10th and sent Atsushi Kizuka to the mound to face the Tigers in the bottom half of the inning. Kizuka got Yano to fly out to center for the first out, but then walked Kodai Sakurai (1-for-1, BB). Akinobu Mayumi then sent in Yamato to pinch-run for Sakurai and Wei-Chu Lin to pinch-hit for Kyuji Fujikawa. Lin ended up grounding out to first and the Bay Stars opted to intentionally walk Akahoshi to put runners on first and second with 2 out. Sekimoto then hit a single to center, catapulting the Tigers to a 5-4 win.
Both teams collected 11 hits. ... Murata's has now gone yard 200 times in his career.
Bay Stars: 10 LOB, 0 DP
Tigers: 13 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 4h 10m
Rakuten Eagles 5 - Seibu Lions 1
W: Hisashi Iwakuma (7-5; 9 IP, 7 H, 10 K, 0 BB, HBP, R, ER)
L: Kazuhisa Ishii (4-7; 4.2 IP, 4 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 4 R, ER)
Hisashi Iwakuma ran into some problems in the top of the first, giving up a lead-off double to Yasuyuki Kataoka (1-for-4, 2B, R), followed by a single to Takumi Kuriyama (1-for-3, HBP). He managed to strike out Hiroyuki Nakajima (1-for-4) for the first out of the inning, but then gave up a run-scoring double to Takeya Nakamura (2-for-4, 2B, RBI). But from there on, it was lights out for Iwakuma -- he held the Lions to just 4 hits over the next 8.2 innings.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Kazuhisa Ishii surrendered a 1-out walk to Fernando Seguignol (1-for-2, 2 BB, R) and then gave up a game-tying triple to Ryuji Miyade (1-for-4, 3B, RBI). In the bottom of the third, a bad throw by Ishii to first led to runners on first and third with 1 out. The next batter, Teppei (1-for-4), lined out to short, but Takeshi Yamasaki (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI) took full advantage of the situation and nailed a 3-run home run to put the Eagles out in front, 4-1.
Yamasaki capped off his night with his second home run of the game in the bottom of the 8th off Taiyo Fujita.
The Lions outhit the Eagles, 7-6. ... Iwakuma picked up his first win since June 14th. ... Iwakuma needed 116 pitches for his complete game victory. ... This was Iwakuma's second complete game of the season.
Lions: 5 LOB, 2 DP
Eagles: 5 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 50m
Nippon Ham Fighters 5 - Chiba Lotte Marines 1
W: Tomoya Yagi (7-1; 6 IP, 3 H, 8 K, 3 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
L: Hiroyuki Kobayashi (2-8; 7.2 IP, 8 H, 8 K, BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER)
Terrmel Sledge (2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI) had a bit night for the Fighters, nailing a 3-run bomb in the 1st and a solo shot in the 8th, both off Lotte starter Hiroyuki Kobayashi.
Kobayashi had a rough first inning, walking the lead-off batter, Kensuke Tanaka (1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R), on 5 pitches and then hitting the third batter of the inning, Atsunori Inaba (1-for-4, HBP), to put runners on first and second with only 1 out. Kobayashi managed to get Shinji Takahashi to hit into a force at second, but he then gave up a 3-run jack to Sledge on a 3-2 fastball. After the home run, Kobayashi did manage to settle down, giving up 4 hits over the next 6.1 innings. But in the top of the 8th, after striking out the first 2 batters of the inning, Kobayashi gave up another home run to Sledge, putting the Marines down by 5. Kobayashi then gave up a single to Eichi Koyano (3-for-5) and was promptly replaced by Kodai Matsumoto, who then walked a batter and was then taken out in favor of Tatsuya Uchi. Uchi did manage to end the inning, but not before he walked a batter to load the bases.
The Fighters made it 6-0 in the top of the 9th when Takahashi nailed a 2-out single to center with runners on first and third.
With 2 outs and no one on in the bottom of the 9th, Naotaka Takehara (1-for-2, 2 BB, HR, R, RBI) broke up the 5-pitcher shut-out by hitting his 5th home run of the season off Yoshihiro Ito.
The Fighters outhit the Marines, 10-4. ... The Fighters have now won 6 straight.
Fighters: 10 LOB, 0 DP
Marines: 6 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 25m
Orix Buffaloes 6 - Softbank Hawks 2
W: Mamoru Kishida (5-1; 8 IP, 8 H, 5 K, BB, R, ER)
L: Kenji Ohtonari (4-6; 3 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 5 R, 5 ER)
The Buffaloes jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead when Alex Cabrera (3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) drilled a 2-run homer off Kenji Ohtonari in the top of the first. A 2-run homer by Jose Fernandez (2-for-4, BB, HR, 2 R, 2 HR), followed by Cabrera's second homer of the night extended the lead to 5-0 in the top of the 3rd.
Down 5-0, the Hawks turned to the bullpen in the 4th inning and got 4 innings of shut-out ball from Koji Mise and Yasushi Kamiuchi. Unfortunately the Hawks' offense couldn't get things into gear during the lull and only managed to score a run in the bottom of the 6th when Hitoshi Tamura (1-for-3, BB, 2B, R) grounded into a double play with runners on first and third and no out. The GIDP got the run home from third, but it also destroyed a great start to a potentially big inning.
With Masahiko Morifuku on the mound for the Hawks in the top of the 8th, the Buffaloes pushed across another run when Morifuku walked Shinji Shimoyama (0-for-3, BB, RBI) with the bases loaded and no out. Morifuku bore down after that and managed to get out of the inning without giving up another run.
The Hawks scored their second and final run in the bottom of the 9th on a sac fly by Hidenori Tanoue (0-for-3, RBI) with runners on second and third and no outs.
Both teams collected 9 hits. ... Greg LaRocca was hit by a pitch in the top of the 8th. The ball hit LaRocca in the right hand and preliminary reports appear to point towards a bone fracture. ... Fernandez's home run in the 3rd gave him 10 on the year. It also gave him 7 consecutive seasons of 10+ home runs.
Buffaloes: 8 LOB, 0 DP
Hawks: 7 LOB, 2 DP
Time: 3h 7m