TOKYO - Madison's Bryan Bullington turned in one of his best starts of the season Wednesday but it wasn't good enough for a win by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

In a decision unique to Japanese baseball, the Carp and Tokyo Yakult Swallows played to a 1-1 tie in 10 innings on Wednesday at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo.

Bullington, a 1999 graduate of Madison when he was Indiana's Mr. Baseball, scattered one run on five hits over six innings before giving the ball over to the Carp bullpen in the seventh trailing 1-0 in a pitchers' duel. The Carp knotted the game in the seventh and the mound duel continued until the 1-1 draw.

Bullington struck out four and walked one in his 80-pitch performance. A winner of two straight games entering the night, it was Bullington's best start since he threw nine scoreless innings on May 16.

Bullington is now 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 18 starts on the season.

In related news, the Carp front office is already expressing interest in exercising its option to re-sign Bullington for a third season of Japanese baseball in 2013.

Bullington originally signed with the Carp for the 2011 season for about $700,000 and proved himself a workhorse on the mound by throwing 205.1 innings in 30 starts while going 13-11 with a 2.42 ERA. He was re-signed for 2012 with about a $1 million bump in salary to $1,744,300.

The Carp are currently fighting for their first playoff spot in 14 years.