Yakult Swallows 5 - Yokohama Bay Stars 4 (Bay Stars lead series, 10-4-0)
Norichika Aoki's (2-for-3, HBP, BB, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) solo homer in the bottom of the 1st put the Swallows out in front, 1-0. Yakult tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the 3rd on Keizo Kawashima's (2-for-4, BB, HR, 2 R, RBI) lead-off home run and Hiroyasu Tanaka's (2-for-6, RBI) single to right after Kazuki Fukuchi (2-for-5, IBB, R) singled, stole second, and moved up to third on a wild pitch by Hayato Terahara.
After shutting out the Bay Stars over the first 4 innings of the game, Masanori Ishikawa allowed the Bay Stars to tie the game by giving up a run in the 5th (Shingo Tateyama's 2-out RBI single) and 2 runs in the 6th (Takahiro Saeki's 2-out, 2-run single).
In the top of the 7th, the Swallows had a great chance to break through with a run when they loaded the bases with a hit and 2 walks. But with 2 outs already on the board, Terahara bore down and struck out Fukuchi to end the inning.
Still tied at 3 after 9 full innings, the game went into extra innings.
The Bay Stars struck first when Tatsuya Shimozono nailed a pinch-hit home run to give the Yokohama a 4-3 lead. But the Swallows quickly returned the run in the bottom of the inning with Shun Yamaguchi on the mound: Aoki was hit by a pitch, stole second, and then scored on Jamie D'Antona's (1-for-5, RBI) single to center.
Hye-Chun Lee tossed the top of the 9th for the Swallows and held the Bay Stars to a hit. In the bottom of the inning, Yokohama also brought in a fresh arm: Takeharu Kato. After loading the bases on a lead-off single by Kawashima, a pinch-hit infield single by Ryohei Kawamoto, and an IBB to Fukuchi, Kato finally recorded the first out of the inning by getting Tanaka to line out to first. Another pitching change brought in Kimiyasu Kudo to record the final 2 outs of the inning, but he instead gave up a walk-off single to Aoki and the Swallows beat the Bay Stars, 5-4.
The Bay Stars outhit the Swallows, 12-11. ... Lee won his first game since joining the NPB. ... The Swallows ended a 5-game losing streak.
Bay Stars: 6 LOB, 1 DP
Swallows: 12 LOB, 1 DP
Yokohama Bay Stars
|Terahara, Hayato||2||4||0||10||7 2/3||31||120||6||8||3||0||3||3||3.49|
|Kato, Kosuke||0||0||0||20||0 0/3||1||4||0||0||1||0||0||0||4.74|
|Sanada, Hiroki H||5||2||0||47||1 1/3||6||25||1||1||1||0||0||0||2.51|
|Kato, Takeharu L||0||1||0||6||0 1/3||4||16||2||0||1||0||1||1||6.00|
|Kudo, Kimiyasu||2||2||0||29||0 0/3||1||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||7.50|
|Igarashi, Ryota H||2||2||2||43||1||3||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.76|
|Lim, Chang-Yong H||4||1||24||43||1||4||13||1||2||0||0||0||0||0.41|
|Lee, Hye-Chun W||1||0||0||22||1||4||12||1||1||0||0||0||0||3.27|
Time: 3h 57m
Chunichi Dragons 3 - Hanshin Tigers 1 (Dragons lead series, 10-5-0)
Wei-Ying Chen held the Tigers to just 4 hits over the first 6 innings of the game, but did run into some problems in the 3rd (bases the loaded with walks and a single; 2 outs) and 5th innings (first and third with 2 outs). Interestingly enough, both innings ended with Takahiro Arai (0-for-4) making the final out.
The Tigers finally got on the board against Chen in the bottom of the 7th when Ryo Asai (2-for-2, 3B, R) hit a pinch-hit, lead-off triple and came around to score on Keiichi Hirano's (1-for-3, RBI) sac fly to left.
On the other side of the diamond, Yuya Ando gave up 3 runs over the same number of innings as Chen and took the loss. But unlike Chen, Ando really didn't run into any problems other than the 2 innings in which he gave up runs. Looks like luck just isn't on the Tigers' side right now.
In the top of the 3rd, the Dragons scored their first run on two consecutive doubles from Hirokazu Ibata (1-for-4, 2B, R) and Masahiro Araki (1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI). Masahiko Morino (1-for-3, BB, RBI) then made it 2-0 with his single to left that score Araki from second. The Dragons made it 3-0 in the top of the 4th when Byung-Kyu Lee (1-for-3, BB, 2B, R) scored on Chen's (1-for-3, RBI) infield single.
Hitoki Iwase entered the game in the bottom of the 9th and gave up a 2-out single to Asai before retiring pinch-hitter Mitsunobu Takahashi on a ground out back to the mound.
Both teams collected 6 hits. ... Chen has now won 4 in a row. ... Iwase collected his 227th save of his career, putting him in a tie for third with Masahide Kobayashi.
Dragons: 4 LOB, 2 DP
Tigers: 9 LOB, 1 DP
|Chen, Wei-Ying W||6||2||0||15||7||30||104||5||1||4||0||1||1||1.40|
|Asao, Takuya H||7||7||0||45||1||3||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.67|
|Iwase, Hitoki S||1||2||34||44||1||4||12||1||2||0||0||0||0||1.85|
|Ando, Yuya L||6||8||0||19||7||28||102||5||2||3||0||3||3||3.61|
Time: 2h 59m
Yomiuri Giants 3 - Hiroshima Carp 1 (Giants lead series, 7-5-3)
The difference in this game were two big errors that helped the Giants score 2 of their 3 runs.
The Giants started the game with consecutive singles from Hayato Sakamoto (1-for-5, R) and Tetsuya Matsumoto (2-for-4). Michihiro Ogasawara's (0-for-4) reached first on a throwing error by Kenta Kurihara; the error also allowed Sakamoto to score from second. Yomiuri tacked on another run in the 4th when Alex Ramirez (1-for-4, 2B, 2 R) lead off the inning with a double, moved to third on Yoshiyuki Kamei's (1-for-4) bunt single, and crossed home plate on Shinnosuke Abe's (0-for-4, RBI) grounder to second.
In the top of the 6th, Ramirez reached first on a fielding error by Tetsuya Kokubo. Two outs later, he was standing on third and scored on Shigeyuki Furuki's (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) double to right.
Meanwhile, Dicky Gonzalez did a pretty good job of getting in and out trouble through his 6.1 innings of work -- he allowed a base-runner in every inning he pitched other than the 3rd. In the bottom of the 7th, after striking out Kokubo (2-for-3) and walking Yoshiyuki Ishihara (1-for-3, BB), Tetsuya Yamaguchi relieved Gonzalez and ended the inning by getting Scott McClain to hit into 4-6-3 double play.
The Giants turned to Marc Kroon to close out the game in the bottom of the 9th. He promptly struck out Kurihara (0-for-4), but then surrendered a double to Andy Phillips (2-for-3, 2B, R). After striking out Masafumi Suenaga (0-for-4) for the second out of the inning, it appeared as though Kroon was back on track. But he gave up a run-scoring double to pinch-hitter Go Kida and an infield single to Ishihara. A walk to pinch-hitter Takuro Ishii loaded the bases and that was it for Kroon. Daisuke Ochi entered the game and struck out Akihiro Higashide (1-for-5) for his 10th save of the year.
Both teams collected 9 hits. ... Kenta Maeda now leads the league in losses with a 11. ... Toritani, Kanemoto, and Arai went a combined 0-for-9 with 3 walks in the game.
Giants: 7 LOB, 1 DP
Carp: 9 LOB, 2 DP
|Dicky Gonzalez W||10||1||0||15||6 1/3||26||105||6||2||1||1||0||0||2.12|
|Yamaguchi, Tetsuya H||8||1||3||53||1 2/3||4||20||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.14|
|Marc Kroon||1||2||13||30||0 2/3||6||31||3||2||1||0||1||1||1.93|
|Ochi, Daisuke S||6||2||10||49||0 1/3||1||5||0||1||0||0||0||0||2.63|
|Maeda, Kenta L||5||11||0||20||7||30||94||8||2||0||0||3||1||3.57|
|Aoki, Takahiro||1||2||0||20||1 1/3||5||16||1||0||0||0||0||0||4.31|
|Aoki, Hayato||0||0||0||18||0 2/3||2||11||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.20|
Time: 3h 9m
Nippon Ham Fighters 4 - Orix Buffaloes 3 (Fighters lead series, 9-3-0)
The Fighters' bullpen wasted a solid outing by Tomoya Yagi (and almost lost the game for him if not for the offense) -- he held the Buffaloes to just 4 hits over the first 7 innings of the game and then gave up just 1 run on a lead-off solo homer by Ikki (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) in the top of the 8th, after which point Naoki Miyanishi entered the game to retire the side in order. But it was the top of the 9th that ruined Yagi's start -- Hisashi Takeda gave up a game-tying, 2-run bomb to Tuffy Rhodes (2-for-4, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI).
Mamoru Kishida also tossed a pretty decent game, never really being overwhelmed by the Fighters' offense. In the top of the 5th, the Fighters scratched a run together on a walk, a sac bunt, an infield single, and a squeeze bunt by Shinya Tsuruoka (0-for-3, RBI). They tacked on another run in the 6th when Kensuke Tanaka (3-for-6, 2B, R, RBI) came around to score on Shinji Takahashi's (1-for-4, RBI) single to right.
Down by a run in the bottom of the 9th with Kishida still on the mound for the Buffaloes, the Fighters scored the tying run with 2 outs on Eiichi Koyano's (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) 7th home run of the season.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Fighters managed to load the bases after the first two batters of the inning went down on strikes. But Tomohiro Nioka (0-for-1) could not get the job done, striking out on a forkball to end the inning. The Buffaloes also put together a threat in the top of the 11th after their first two batters struck out to start the inning. But with runners on first and second, Makoto Shiozaki (0-for-1) fouled out to third.
It wasn't until the bottom of the 12th that the game was finally decided: with 1 out, Yoshihiro Sato advanced all the way to second on a fielding error by Alex Cabrera and came around to score on Tanaka's walk-off single to right.
The Fighters outhit the Buffaloes, 11-10. ... Atsunori Inaba went 0-for-4 with an IBB. ... The Buffaloes have no lost 3 in a row and are now just 2-8 over their last 10.
Buffaloes: 8 LOB, 1 DP
Fighters: 8 LOB, 1 DP
|Kato, Daisuke H||4||4||13||33||1||6||25||2||3||1||0||0||0||4.82|
|Shimizu, Akio H||0||1||0||39||0 1/3||1||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.51|
|Okubo, Masanobu L||2||1||1||38||1||5||20||1||1||0||0||1||0||2.34|
Nippon Ham Fighters
|Yagi, Tomoya||8||1||0||13||7 0/3||25||104||5||2||1||0||1||1||2.58|
|Miyanishi, Naoki H||5||0||0||39||1||3||9||0||1||0||0||0||0||1.89|
|Takeda, Hisashi||1||0||23||38||0 1/3||3||5||2||0||0||0||2||2||1.38|
|Kikuchi, Kazumasa||2||2||0||42||1 2/3||7||30||1||3||1||0||0||0||3.30|
|Ejiri, Shintaro H||2||0||0||26||1||5||18||1||2||1||0||0||0||2.96|
|Hayashi, Masanori W||3||0||0||27||1||4||23||1||3||0||0||0||0||3.14|
Time: 4h 4m
Rakuten Eagles 6 - Softbank Hawks 0 (Eagles lead the series 8-7-0)
Hisashi Iwakuma scattered 8 hits and a walk over 7 shut-out innings. In the top of the 7th, he surrendered 2 consecutive singles to Hidenori Tanoue (2-for-4) and Kenji Akashi (3-for-4), but managed to get out of the inning by retiring the next three batters on fly balls. But with the last 6 outs coming on fly balls, the Eagles dipped into the bullpen and called on Tsuyoshi Kawagishi for the final 2 outs of the inning.
On offense, the Eagles had a surprisingly active night. After scoring single runs in the 1st (RBI single by Teppei; 3-for-4, 3 RBI) and 5th (RBI double by Motohiro Shima; 1-for-1, HBP, BB, 2B R, RBI), the Eagles tacked on 2 more in the 6th on 2-run homer by Fernando Seguignol (2-for-3, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI).
In the top of the 7th, Shima and Todd Linden (1-for-3, BB, R) reached on 2 consecutive walks to start the inning. A sac bunt moved the runners up a base and Teppei's single to right cleared the bases and gave the Eagles their 6th and final run of the game (Teppei was erased trying to extend his single into a double).
The Eagles outhit the Hawks, 11-9. ... The Hawks were shut-out for the first time since May 13th. ... Iwakuma has won 3 games in a row.
Hawks: 10 LOB, 1 DP
Eagles: 5 LOB, 1 DP
|Takahashi, Hideaki L||1||2||0||6||5||19||67||6||3||0||1||2||2||6.04|
|Iwakuma, Hisashi W||9||5||0||16||7||30||110||8||2||1||0||0||0||3.11|
Time: 3h 6m
Seibu Lions 1 - Chiba Lotte Marines 0 (Lotte lead the series, 8-5-0)
The only mistake Hiroyuki Kobayashi made was the first pitch he served up (a change he left up over the plate) to Takumi Kuriyama (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI) in the top of the 3rd that went for a solo home run. Other than that one pitch, he did a pretty good job of keeping the Lions off-balance (he did give up 2 singles in the 4th with 1 out, but the inning ended quietly with two ground outs).
Hideaki Wakui one-upped Kobayashi by tossing a complete game shut-out for his 13th victory of the season. Wakui had a pretty impressive first two innings, recording every out on a strike out -- for the game, he struck out a total 13 batters.
The Lions outhit the Marines, 7-5. ... The 13 strike outs established a new high for Wakui.
Lions: 6 LOB 0 DP
Marines: 8 LOB, 0 DP
|Wakui, Hideaki W||13||4||0||19||9||35||161||5||13||2||1||0||0||2.32|
Chiba Lotte Marines
|Kobayashi, Hiroyuki L||2||10||0||19||9||34||121||7||7||0||0||1||1||4.35|
Time: 2h 48m