YOKOHAMA — Saburo Omura is all the way back.
The Chiba Lotte Marines may not be far behind.
Omura’s first home run of the season helped power the Marines’ best offensive performance this year as they routed the Yokohama BayStars 14-1 on Tuesday night at Yokohama Stadium.
Omura, who has been limited to 35 games this year due to injuries, highlighted a five-run first inning with a three-run shot off starter Kentaro Kuwahara. It’s the third straight game in which the Marines have scored five or more runs in the opening frame.
“It was a slider,” Omura said of the ball he sent into a throng of Lotte supporters in left field. “I finally hit a home run. I have have been working on my timing and my swing.”
Omura, who missed significant time in the beginning of the season, is batting .298 with the home run and 19 RBIs.
The Marines teed off on the BayStars pitchers during a 18-hit night that was highlighted by five home runs, four of which were multi-run shots. The Marines scored at least one run against four of the seven hurlers Yokohama sent to the mound.
“This is a nice place to hit,” Marines manager Bobby Valentine said. “The guys really like to take batting practice here. They’re having fun and they took that right into the game. They swung very very well.”
Tsuyoshi Nishioka had a three-run homer and Julio Zuleta had a two-run shot in a six-run third to help the Marines build an 11-run lead by the end of the inning. Jose Ortiz and Tomoya Satozaki also homered for Lotte. The 14 runs are a season-high output for the team.
Nishioka has been on a tear recently, going 12-for-23 with three home runs and nine RBIs over his last six games.
“He has been amazing especially over the last three games,” Omura said of the Lotte infielder.
The Marines, who have gotten off to a slow start this year, have now won six out of seven, a stretch during which they’ve scored 49 runs.
“There are no keys,” Valentine said of the team’s success at the plate. “Guys are relaxed, swinging the bats well and we have everybody contributing.”
Yokohama High School product Yoshihisa Naruse turned in a solid performance on the mound to earn the win. Naruse (4-3) struck out eight and allowed one run on seven hits in seven innings, lowering his ERA to 2.29.
Kuwahara (0-2) lasted just one inning, taking the loss after giving up five runs on five hits and hitting two batters. His replacement, Yuji Hata, didn’t fare much better, lasting just two innings after giving up six runs on six hits, including a pair of home runs.
Kazuya Fukuura got the fireworks under way with a RBI single in the first that set the table for Omura’s three-run blast. Daisuke Hayakawa added an RBI double later in the inning to give Lotte a 5-0 advantage.
Toshiaki Imae drove in a run in the third, and home runs from Nishioka and Zuleta made the score 11-0.
Yuki Yohsimura got the BayStars on the board in the fourth with his 15th home run of the season to make it 11-1.
Ortiz’s homer in the seventh pushed the advantage to 12, and Satozaki increased the margin to 14-1 with his shot in the eighth.
Fighters top Carp
HIROSHIMA, (Kyodo) Naoto Inada had a tiebreaking two-run bases-loaded single in the fifth inning and Yu Darvish and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters held off the Hiroshima Carp in an 8-7 victory in interleague action on Tuesday.
Inada hit up the middle off Kan Otake (2-9) broke a 3-3 tie and Shinya Tsuruoka added an RBI single to make it 6-3 in the fifth at Hiroshima Stadium.
Darvish (7-3) allowed three runs — two earned — with nine strikeouts and four walks in seven innings. Micheal Nakamura picked up his 12th save.
Dragons 5, Lions 4
At Ishikawa Prefectural Stadium, Norihiro Nakamura hit a game-winning solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, lifting Chunichi over Seibu.
Tigers 5, Eagles 3
At Koshien Stadium, pinch hitter Mitsunobu Takahashi hit a go-ahead two-run double off Shinichiro Koyama (2-3) in a three-run eighth as Hanshin rallied to beat Tohoku Rakuten, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Jeff Williams (2-2) got the win in relief.
Giants 4, Buffaloes 3
At Fukushima Azuma Stadium, Shigeyuki Furuki hit a sacrifice fly with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth as Yomiuri got its second “sayonara” win of the season in a victory over Orix.