SENDAI – Julio Zuleta hit for the cycle and drove in seven runs, leading the Chiba Lotte Marines to a 9-2 rout of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles on Saturday.
Tigers catcher Akihiro Yano blocks the plate during the fourth inning on Saturday at Jingu Stadium.
Zuleta had a two-run double in the fourth inning, an RBI triple in the sixth, a three-run homer in the seventh and a run-scoring single in the ninth at Fullcast Stadium.
The Panamanian slugger, who was 4-for-5 in the game, became the 61st player in Japanese baseball history and the first Lotte player since Takahiro Tokutsu in April 1976 to hit for the cycle.
Yasutomo Kubo (9-7) scattered 11 hits and limited Rakuten to two runs over 6 1/3 innings. Hideki Asai (7-7) was charged with four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Rick Short went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles for Rakuten, which outhit Lotte 15-13 but left 13 runners on base in losing for the fifth time in six games.
Buffaloes 7, Fighters 2
At Sapporo Dome, Daisuke Maeda went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Tom Davey pitched seven solid innings Orix beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham to snap a three-game losing streak.
Chad Allen hit a tiebreaking single and Maeda added a two-run single in a three-run sixth inning that put Orix ahead 4-1. Davey (8-11) held Pacific League leader Nippon Ham to one run and five hits.
Lions 7, Hawks 3
At Goodwill Dome, Jeff Liefer drove in three runs and the bullpen held Softbank scoreless in Seibu’s sixth consecutive victory.
Dragons 12, Carp 3
At Nagoya Dome, Motonobu Tanishige went 3-for-3 with five RBIs Saturday as Chunichi routed Hiroshima to maintain its Central League lead.
The veteran catcher broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run single before pinch-hitter Kazuki Inoue tripled in two more runs to cap a four-run sixth inning.
Giants 7, BayStars 1
At Tokyo Dome Takahiko Nomaguchi pitched a three-hitter and got a little help from the likes of Michihiro Ogasawara and Takayuki Shimizu, who drove in four runs between them to power second-place Yomiuri to its third win in a row.
Swallows 9, Tigers 6