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Hot-hitting Lions storm past Giants

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The Yomiuri Giants got the best of the Seibu Lions the first time around.

The Pacific League’s top team made sure it didn’t happen again.

Craig Brazell reclaimed the Pacific League home run lead and Hiroyuki Nakajima drove in three runs with a homer as the Lions struck early and often in a 9-3 win over the Giants on Monday at Tokyo Dome.

Brazell crushed a three-run homer in the third inning that gave the Lions a two-run lead and broke a tie with teammate Takehiko G.G. Sato and Orix Buffaloes slugger Tuffy Rhodes at the top of the PL home run standings with his 17th of the season.

Lions starter Fumiya Nishiguchi won his second straight decision after holding the Giants to three runs on seven hits in a five-inning outing. The veteran right-hander struck out none and walked one, but was effective enough to leave with the lead.

Four Lions had multihit nights. Takumi Kuriyama and Brazell led the way, each going 4-for-5 at the plate. Nos. 2-5 in the Seibu lineup, Kuriyama, Nakajima (2-for-3, three RBIs), Brazell (four RBIs) and Sato (2-for-3, three RBIs) all played big parts in the win.

“Our third and fifth batters have been consistent and No. 4 (Brazell) has come out of a slump,” Seibu manager Hisanobu Watanabe said.

“Just a little while back I thought about maybe sitting him (Brazell). But I endured that.”

Koji Onuma relieved Nishiguchi and worked three perfect innings. Shinya Okamoto struck out the side in the ninth for Seibu.

The loss snapped the Giants’ four-game winning streak, tied for their longest of the year, which included a three-hit shutout of the Lions on Sunday.

“We lost yesterday so we were determined to get the victory today and not lose both games to the Giants,” Watanabe said.

The Lions pounced on Yomiuri starter Seth Greisinger, who took the loss after allowing seven runs on 11 hits over four innings.

Greisinger (6-4) is 0-2 against the Lions this season, giving up 14 runs, including five home runs, in nine innings.

Alex Ramirez was one of the few bright spots for the Giants, driving in two runs on a 2-for-4 night at the plate.

Ramirez, who has been superb over the last month, is batting .333 with 17 home runs.

Ryuichi Kajimae accounted for Yomiuri’s other run with his second career homer, a shot to left, in the fourth.

After being shut out the previous night, the Lions didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard. Sato gave the Lions an early 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first.

The Giants stormed right back in the bottom half of the inning with Ramirez following singles by Hayato Sakamoto and Takuya Kimura with a two-run single to give the Giants the lead.

Brazell’s homer gave the Lions a 4-2 advantage in the third and Nakajima’s shot drove in three more runs for the visitors in the fourth.

The Lions now return home to Seibu Dome, where they will begin a series against the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers on Wednesday.

“We’ve got good momentum going into it,” Brazell said. “We’ve played good baseball and this is definitely going to add to it.”

Tigers win again

NISHINOMIYA , Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Tomoaki Kanemoto singled in two runs to spark a four-run fourth inning as the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers beat the Orix Buffaloes 4-1 on Monday for their fifth straight victory.

Kanemoto had a base hit to left with no outs and runners on second and third before Takashi Toritani and Akihiro Yano hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to put Hanshin ahead 4-0 in interleague play at Koshien Stadium.

Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (6-1) allowed one run and seven hits in six innings. Kyuji Fujikawa struck out the side in order in the ninth for his CL-leading 22nd save.

Kazuki Kondo (5-5) was charged with four runs (one earned) in four innings.

BayStars 13, Fighters 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Toshihisa Nishi and Shuichi Murata hit two-run homers to power Yokohama in a 17-hit onslaught of Hokkaido Nippon Ham, ending a five-game losing drought.

Nishi, who went 4-for-5, opened the scoring with a shot to left in the third. Murata’s drive — his 150th career homer and 16th this season — made it 7-3 in the fifth. Yasuhiro Oyamada (2-3) got the win in relief.

Yokohama piled on four runs in the seventh, featuring a bases-clearing triple by Hiroaki Onishi. Toshimasa Konta hit his first career homer for Nippon Ham. Ryan Glynn (3-8) was tagged for seven runs in five innings.

Carp 6, Hawks 1

At Hiroshima Stadium, Colby Lewis pitched one-run ball over seven strong innings, leading Hiroshima in a win over Softbank to snap a three-game losing streak.

Shigenobu Shima had a two-run single in the first inning and Kenta Kurihara’s solo blast extended the lead in the third. Tetsuya Kokubo keyed a three-run eighth with a two-run double.

Lewis (9-4) allowed six hits, struck out four and walked none. Katsuhiro Nagakawa pitched 1 2/3 innings for his ninth save. Tsuyoshi Wada (6-2) was chased after allowing three runs in four innings.

Dragons 6, Eagles 3

At Nagoya Dome, Kazuki Inoue, Hidenori Kuramoto and Masahiro Araki had RBI singles in the sixth inning to break open a tie game as Chunichi snapped Tohoku Rakuten’s three-game winning streak.

Kazuki Yoshimi (7-0) won in relief and Hitoki Iwase picked up his 19th save. Rakuten reliever Koji Aoyama (1-2) gave up three runs without getting an out after Masahiro Tanaka allowed three runs in five innings.

Marines 5, Swallows 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Toshiaki Imae hit a tiebreaking solo homer off reliever Yuya Kamada (0-2) in the sixth inning and Chiba Lotte sent Yakult to a third straight loss in a game that was delayed by a thunderstorm.

Yakult took a 2-1 lead on a Ryohei Kawamoto two-run double after Tsuyoshi Nishioka opened the game with a homer to left. Tomoya Satozaki hit a two-run homer to put Lotte ahead 3-2 in the fifth, but a Kazuki Fukuchi homer tied it in the bottom half.

Viciedo leaves Cuba

Miami AP One of Cuba’s top baseball prospects has defected and settled in South Florida in hopes of playing in the major leagues.

Dayan Viciedo arrived in the United States at the end of May and is now living with friends and family, his agent, Jaime Torres, said Sunday.

The 18-year-old Viciedo is from the central province of Villa Clara. He was a third baseman with the Villa Clara team, one of Cuba’s major league teams.

He started playing baseball in the Cuban majors when he was 15.