Chunichi Dragons 6 - Yakult Swallows 5
Starter: Kenichi Nakata (6 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 4 BB, HBP, BB, 3 R, 2 ER)
W: Takuya Asao (7-7; 2 IP, 0 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
Sv: Hitoki Iwase (31)
Starter: Yoshinori Sato (6 IP, 7 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
L: Jun Hagiwara (1-1; .2 IP, 3 H, K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER)
Jamie D'Antona (2-for-5, BB, 2B, R, RBI) hit a double in the bottom of the 11th that pulled the Swallows to within 1 run of tying the game. But neither Aaron Guiel (0-for-2, IBP, 2 BB) nor Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1-for-6, RBI) could get the job done.
But this game wasn't lost in the bottom of the 11th.
Rewind the game back to the bottom of the 6th with the Dragons holding on to a 3-2 lead. Keizo Kawashima (1-for-5, R) led off the inning with a single and was bunted over to second. A wild pitch by Kenichi Nakata allowed Kawashima to get to third. A passed ball then allowed Kawashima to score from third -- if not for this, it's entirely possible that the Swallows would have lost in regulation.
As it stands, the Dragons scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th when Masahiro Araki (1-for-5, BB, 2B, 3 RBI) got a chance to bat with the bases loaded and nailed a huge 3-run double off Jun Hagiwara.
The Dragons outhit the Swallows, 12-11. ... The Swallows took the series, 2-1. ... Norichika Aoki showed some signs of life, going 2-for-4 with 2 walk, a double, a run scored.
Dragons: 10 LOB, 1 DP
Swallows: 13 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 4h 44m
Hanshin Tigers 7 - Yomiuri Giants 4
Starter: Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (5 IP, 9 H, K, 0 BB, HBP, 4 R, 4 ER)
W: Hirotaka Egusa (3-3; 1 IP, H, K, BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
Sv: Kyuji Fujikawa (13)
L: Hisanori Takahashi (5-4; 5.1 IP, 8 H, 8 K, 0 BB, 6 R, 4 ER)
Craig Brazell had a big hit-day against the Giants, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. But it was Kodai Sakurai (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI) that provided most of offensive lift for the Tigers against the Giants. Takashi Toritani's (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) home run in the bottom of the 3rd also played a major role as it gave the Tigers a 2-run cushion prior to the top of the 6th when the Giants managed to score 2 runs and briefly tie the game at 4.
Sakurai's big offensive lift then came in the bottom half of the 6th when he hit a home run with Brazell on first and Hisanori Takahashi still on the mound for the Giants. And it was his 2-out double in the 7th off Micheal Nakamura that extended the Tigers lead to 7-4.
The Tigers outhit the Giants, 12-10. ... The Tigers took the series, 2-1. ... Keiichi Hirano was hit in the left knee by a 151km/h fastball and stayed in the game.
Giants: 7, 1 DP
Tigers: 7, 0 DP
Time: 3h 12m
Yokohama Bay Stars 9 - Hiroshima Carp 8
Starter: Les Walrond (1.2 IP, 6 H, K, 2 BB, 5 R, 5 ER)
W: Atsushi Kizuka (3-1; 2 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
Starter: Kan Ohtake (6.1 IP, 10 K, 5 K, BB, 7 R, 7 ER)
L: Takeshi Komatsu (2-3; 1 IP, 3 H, K, BB, R, ER)
Things don't usually turn out well when you starting pitcher can't get out of the second inning and leaves after giving up 5 runs (all earned) on 6 hits, 2 walks, and a strike out. Fortunately, the 5 and 6 batters for the Bay Stars had big nights: Dan Johnson (1-for-4, IBB, HR, R, 3 RBI) hit a big 3-run homer off Ohtake in the 6th and Yuki Yoshimura's bomb in the top of the 10th off Takeshi Komatsu (2-for-5, HR, R, 2 RBI) gave the Bay Stars a 9-8 lead.
The Bay Stars then turned to Atsushi Kizuka to protect their 1-0 lead. After striking out the first 2 batters of the inning, Kizuka gave up 2 consecutive singles to put runners on first and second. But unfortunately for Carp fans, Soichiro Amaya ended the threat and the game on a foul out in third base territory.
The Carp outhit the Bay Stars, 16-15. ... The Yokohama Bay Stars took the series, 2-1.
Bay Stars: 9 LOB, 0 DP
Carp: 10 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 3h 54
Nippon Ham Fighters 7 - Softbank Hawks 1
W: Masaru Takeda (5-6; 6 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 0 BB, R, ER)
L: Toshiya Sugiuchi (9-3; 5.2 IP, 7 H, 5 K, BB, 5 R 5 ER)
Four Fighters' pitchers recorded 11 strike outs against the Softbank Hawks. The only run the Hawks managed came in the top of the 7th when Hiroki Kokubo (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) hit his 10th home run of the season off a tiring Masaru Takeda (Takeda was replaced immediately after that).
The Fighters offense was backed by 3-home runs off the bats of Tomohiro Nioka (2-run HR off Sugiuchi; 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI), Kensuke Tanaka (solo HR of Akio Mizuda; 1-for-4, HR, R, RBI), and Yoshio Itoi (solo HR off Shota Ohba; 1-for-1, HR, R, RBI).
After the game, Sugiuchi said that his slider wasn't working and that he threw a lot of mistake pitches. Sugiuchi hasn't been the same since complaining of back pains in July.
The Fighters outhit the Hawks, 9-6. ... The Fighters took the series, 2-1. ... Takeda's last victory came against the Rakuten Eagles on July 1st. ... Nioka his hit first home run at Sapporo Dome since being traded to the Fighters.
Hawks: 4 LOB, 1 DP
Fighters: 3 LOB, 0 DP
Time: 2h 51m
Chiba Lotte Marines 2 - Rakuten Eagles 1
Starter: Kohei Hasebe (7 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 2 BB, HBP, R, ER)
W: Brian Sikorski (6-5; 2 IP, 0 H, K, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
Starter: Yuki Kawakawa (9 IP, 9 H, 6 K, 3 BB, R, ER)
L: Marcus Gwyn (1-4; 1.2 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 3 BB, R, ER)
The Eagles scored first when Naoto Watanabe (1-for-5, R) scored on Takeshi Yamasaki's double to left (1-for-4, BB). The Marines tied it in the bottom of the third on Saburo's (2-for-5) 2-out, clutch hit RBI single. The game went into extra innings and was finally decided in the bottom of the 11th.
Marcus Gwyn retired the first two batters of the inning before walking Daisuke Hayakawa (0-for-0 BB, R). He took third when the catcher made a bad throw to second on a stolen base attempt. Before being replaced by Kanehisa Arime, Marcus Gwyn intentionally walked Tomoya Satozaki (1-for-4, IBB) to put runners on first and third. Arime faced one batter, Kazuya Fukuura (0-for-0, HBP), and was ejected for hitting him in the head.
With Shinichiro Koyama now on the mound with the bases loaded and 2 outs, Keisuke Hayasaka (3-for-5, R, RBI) managed to hit a single to right to give his team a walk-off win in 11.
Both teams collected 9 hits. ... The Marines swept the Eagles and outscored 10-6. ... Kawakawa tossed a career high 153 pitches over 9 full inning of work.
Eagles: 9 LOB, 1 DP
Marines: 11 LOB, 4 DP
Time: 4h 16m
Orix Buffaloes 6 - Seibu Lions 5
Starter: Fumiya Nishiguchi (2 IP, 6 H, 0 K, BB, 5 R, 5 ER)
W: Ryota Katsuki (2-2; 1.2, H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER)
Starter: Satoshi Komatsu (8 IP, 9 H, 10 K, BB, 5 R, 5 ER)
L: Tetsuya Iwasaki (2-3; 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 K, BB, R, ER)
Osamu Hamanaka WAS the offense for the Buffaloes, going 2-for-4 with 2 home runs, a sac fly, and 5 RBI. And it was his second home run of the game in the bottom of the 10th off Tetsuya Iwasaki that gave the Buffaloes a 6-5 win over Seibu. The Lions have been a tough team to beat for the Buffaloes this year -- they are only 6-12 against and have been outscored 87-68.
The Lions also relied on the long ball for most of their run support (all off Satoshi Komatsu): Yoshihito Ishii (2-for-3, HR, R, RBI) hit a lead-off homer in the third; G.G. Sato (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) hit a lead-off homer in the 5th; and Takeya Nakamura (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI) hit a 2-run homer in the 8th.
The Buffaloes beat the Lions, 11-10. ... The Lions took the series, 2-1. ... Lions' manager Hisanobu Watanabe celebrated his 44th birthday on Sunday. ... The last time Hamanaka hit a walk-off home run was in 2002 when he was a member of the Hanshin Tigers.
Lions: 4 LOB, 1 DP
Buffaloes: 8 LOB, 1 DP
Time: 3h 33m
Sorry for skimping a bit on the summaries. I'm running on fumes and I tried a slightly different approach to save some time.