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Lions’ ‘little’ Matsui has big night at plate

Seibu shortstop hits for the cycle

Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui went 4-for-4 and hit for the cycle, helping Pacific League-leading Seibu beat the Kintetsu Buffaloes 10-4 at the Seibu Dome on Wednesday.

Central League
  Won Lost Tied Pct. GB
Yomiuri 28 24 0 .538 -
Chunichi 27 24 0 .529 0.5
Hiroshima 27 26 1 .509 1.5
Yakult 23 23 1 .500 2.0
Yokohama 23 23 1 .500 2.0
Hanshin 21 29 1 .420 6.0
 
Pacific League
  Won Lost Tied Pct. GB
Orix 27 20 0 .574 -
Seibu 27 20 1 .574 -
Daiei 26 25 1 .510 3.0
Nippon Ham 27 26 1 .509 3.0
Kintetsu 23 28 0 .451 6.0
Lotte 20 31 1 .392 9.0

Matsui belted a two-run homer in the first inning off Kintetsu starter Narciso Elvira (1-3) to start off his cycle. He drew a walk in his next at-bat in the third inning.

Matsui then connected for a single in the fourth inning and added a triple in the sixth before wrapping up the cycle with a double in the eighth inning, becoming the 51st player to achieve the feat in Japan.

BlueWave 6, Hawks 3

George Arias and Orlando Merced drove in two runs each as Orix kept its share of the PL lead with a victory over defending champ Daiei at Sendai Stadium.

Fighters 6, Marines 2

Hiroyuki Sekine struck out 10 batters over seven strong innings for his first win in over a month as Nippon Ham beat the Marines in Chiba.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

BayStars 16, Carp 9

The BayStars sent 17 batters to the plate in a 13-run fifth-inning outburst — tying the Japanese pro baseball record for most runs scored in an inning — en route to a win over Hiroshima at Yokohama Stadium.

The BayStars racked up 11 hits in the fifth — the second highest number of hits ever in one inning in Japan pro baseball.

Yokohama starter Satoru Komiyama (6-2) got the win, despite allowing seven runs on 10 hits, including three home runs.

Giants 6, Tigers 1

Lefty Darrell May scattered four hits over seven strong innings while fanning 13 batters to help CL-leading Yomiuri past lowly Hanshin at the Tokyo Dome.

May got his fifth win as the Giants won their fourth straight against the Tigers.

Dragons 13, Swallows 7

Hitoshi Taneda hit a pair of home runs as Chunichi came from behind to beat Yakult in a six-homer slugfest at Jingu Stadium, remaining just half a game behind the Giants.

Nilsson back in Japan

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Chunichi Dragons outfielder David Nilsson returned to Japan on Tuesday after a break in Australia to recover from pain in his lower back.

“The pain in my lower back is mostly gone. I should be able to play soon,” said Nilsson, who was sent down to the minors in late April.