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Dragons win despite Sledge’s three homers

Kyodo

Masahiko Morino hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the fourth inning and the Chunichi Dragons overcame Terrmel Sledge’s three home runs and seven RBIs in an 8-7 victory over the Yokohama BayStars on Wednesday.

Tied 5-5 in the fourth, Morino connected to right-center off newcomer Clayton Hamilton (0-1) with two outs for the lead. Motonobu Tanishige added an RBI single and pinch hitter Nobumasa Fukuda contributed a solo blast in the fifth and seventh, respectively.

Ken Nakata (1-0) got the win. Sledge hit a pair of two-run homers and a three-run drive for Yokohama.

Giants 3, Swallows 0

At Kitakyushu’s Kitakyushu Citizens Stadium Tetsuya Utsumi scattered eight hits over 7? scoreless innings, Alex Ramirez and Yoshinobu Takahashi had back-to-back solo homers and the Giants beat the Swallows to win their second straight game.

Tigers 2, Carp 1

At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Matt Murton had a tiebreaking RBI single off Junpei Shinoda (0-1) in the fifth inning, Jason Standridge (1-0) yielded one unearned run on two hits over seven strong innings and Hanshin won its second in a row against Hiroshima.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Lions 8, Fighters 3

At Sapporo Dome, each of Seibu’s starting nine had at least one hit in a 15-hit onslaught, featuring a two-run double in a four-run second by Hideto Asamura.

Buffaloes 5, Hawks 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Hayato Terahara threw his first shutout in four seasons in his first start with Orix in blanking of Softbank. Terahara (1-0) gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one, shutting down a team for the first time since October 2007.

Lee Seung Yeop, who was released from the Giants during the 2010 offseason, got his first blast of the year? a three-run homer to cap a four-run eighth inning. D.J. Houlton (0-1) took the loss.

Eagles 5, Marines 1

Darrell Rasner (1-0) threw one-run ball over six solid innings, Takeshi Yamasaki hit a three-run drive and Senichi Hoshino’s Rakuten won its second straight after Opening Day. Yuki Karakawa (0-1) allowed four runs – two earned – over 6? innings in the loss.

Matsuzaka on thin ice

KYODO

Things have gotten as dire as they probably get for Boston Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka.

One night after taking a shellacking against the Tampa Bay Rays in which he was torched for seven earned runs without making it out of the third inning, U.S. media outlets are asking for Dice-K’s head.

“The time has come to trade Dice-K,”read Tuesday’s headline from the Boston Globe following Matsuzaka’s debacle on Monday night in front of hostile fans at Fenway Park who booed him as he exited the field after failing to get a single out in the third.

“Daisuke Matsuzaka has a full no-trade clause in his contract . . . Trading him would not be easy. The Red Sox would have to eat a bunch of money and they probably wouldn’t get much back for him, maybe just a couple of mid-level prospects. But it has to be done,” the article said.

The story points out Matsuzaka’s inconsistencies over the last three seasons, including his 13-14 record, 5.34 ERA and 1.55 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched).

“There’s not a shred of evidence to suggest that Matsuzaka will be a reliable pitcher in the AL East anytime soon.”