DeNA entered Sunday’s game a half-game behind Hanshin, whom they’d beaten 12 straight times at home. SoftBank was also going for a sweep over Orix at home in Fukuoka, and Seibu was doing the same against Rakuten in Sendai.
Deniers 5, Tigers 3: At Yokohama Stadium, Hiroto Saiki’s trouble with his command continued, but his pitches in the zone were hittable, and DeNA took advantage of him, scoring four runs off him, the first he’d allowed since giving up a run in 7-2/3 innings against Yomiuri on May 28.
Hanshin threatened a few times, and DeNA was lucky not to blow the lead in the seventh, when a well-struck ball off the bat of Yusuke Oyama off J.B. Wendelken was snagged at short for the second out with two on. Yasuaki Yamasaki earned his 17th save while Saiki’s record fell to 5-4.
Matt Davidson and Ryan McBroom helped propel Hiroshima to its fourth straight win, while Orix’s Jacob Nix had a debut to forget, and Yakult and Hanshin showed the world how to pitch for the third straight day at Koshien Stadium.
Carp 4, Giants 2: At New Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Luis Okoye hit the game’s first pitch to put Yomiuri in front after losing four straight, but three one-out singles tied it in the third against Yuji Akahoshi (0-1) who lasted four innings, and Ryan McBroom’s sac fly on his 31st put the Carp in the lead for good. Matt Davidson led off the fourth with his fourth homer and Kosuke Tanaka homered to make it 4-1.
Shogo Tamura (1-0) struck out five without a walk over 6-2/3 innings for the win, and for the first time in three seasons, Ryoji Kuribayashi earned a save despite surrendering a home run, Sho Nakata’s third. His third save in three games sent Yomiuri to its fifth straight loss.
“Things are not going our way,” said Giants manager Tatsunori Hara after juggling his lineup to put Okoye in the leadoff spot for the first time in five games. “I should probably work on the batting order a little more.”