CHIBA — Rain forced Saturday’s game between the Chiba Lotte Marines and Yokohama BayStars to begin a little behind schedule.
After the first inning, the BayStars were wishing it hadn’t started at all.
Shoitsu Omatsu and Jose Ortiz homered as the Marines made short work of Yokohama in a 7-1 victory in front of the 14,573 fans who braved the elements on a rainy afternoon at Chiba Marine Stadium.
The Marines were ruthlessly efficient at the outset, batting around to effectively put the game away in the first inning.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka doubled on the first pitch of the game, then scored after stealing third on a throwing error by catcher Ryouji Aikawa. Omatsu hit a three-run homer later in the inning and Ortiz added a two-run special as the Marines built a 6-0 lead just 18 minutes into the game.
“I thought we were just aggressive and (Yokohama starter Michael) Wood didn’t have his good stuff today,” Marines manager Bobby Valentine said. “We capitalized on it. (Toshihisa) Nishi being safe at third on the steal and being able to score the run was a good lift.”
The run support was just what starter Hiroyuki Kobayashi needed to end a prolonged slump. Kobayashi (2-6) allowed one run on six hits over eight innings to win for the first time since March 28.
“I thought this was one of his better outings,” Valentine said of Kobayashi. “I hope it’s the beginning of a good roll for him.”
Omatsu had a short afternoon, leaving the game after an RBI single in the second with no apparent injury. He finished 2-for-2 with a home run, his team-leading ninth of the year, and four RBIs.
Dragons edge Lions
TOKOROZAWA , Saitama Pref. (Kyodo) Hirokazu Ibata hit a tiebreaking double with two outs in the seventh inning as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Saitama Seibu Lions 4-3 on Saturday.
Eagles 8, Carp 3
At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Hisashi Iwakuma pitched two-run ball over seven effective innings, while Jose Fernandez smacked two homers and in Tohoku Rakuten’s rout of Hiroshima.
Fighters 2, Tigers 1
At Sapporo Dome, Terrmel Sledge hit a game-tying single and Shinji Takahashi scored the go-ahead run on an error by Aarom Baldiris in the seventh as Hokkaido Nippon Ham beat Hanshin.
Hawks 3, Giants 1
At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Toshiya Sugiuchi threw his fourth complete game of the season and Yuya Hasegawa singled in two runs, leading Softbank over Yomiuri.
Swallows 9, Buffaloes 3
At Kobe’s Skymark Stadium, Shinya Miyamoto and Hiroyasu Tanaka had two-run singles and Aaron Guiel added a two-run homer as Tokyo Yakult routed Orix to snap a five-game losing streak.