OSAKA – Saburo Omura’s two-run seventh-inning single brought the Marines from behind at Kyocera Dome on Sunday as Chiba Lotte won a 6-5 seesaw game and avoided being swept in three games by the last-place Orix Buffaloes.
Trailing by a run in the top of the seventh, Tadahiro Iguchi reached on a one-out single and Katsuya Kakunaka singled with two outs off lefty Shinya Nakayama (1-5). A throwing error by backup Orix shortstop Ryuichi Adachi gave the Marines two men in scoring position.
Omura, who batted just .171 in July, singled on a 1-1 pitch from right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano to plate both runners for the Marines, who fell out of first place on July 31.
“I haven’t been getting the job done, and that’s one of the reasons the team is in its current state,” said Omura.
Lotte right-hander Masaki Minami (1-0) worked 1⅓ innings of scoreless relief to earn his first career victory. Yasuhiko Yabuta, who on Saturday became the 88th player to pitch in 500 games, followed with 1⅔ innings of perfect relief, and rookie Naoya Masuda pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first career save.
“I was really in a good frame of mind out there,” said Masuda, Lotte’s fourth draft pick last autumn. “If anyone got on, it would have brought up (Pacific League home run and RBI leader) Lee Dae Ho. But I got it done.”
The Marines overcame a one-run deficit in the fourth, when Josh Whitesell led off with his third homer, and catcher Masahiko Tanaka broke the tie with a two-run single. The Buffaloes, however, regained the lead in the fifth on a three-run blast by Takahiro Okada, who had four RBIs.
Hawks 10, Lions 2
At Yahoo Dome, Kenji Otonari (9-4) allowed a run in seven innings, and Fukuoka Softbank belted three homers including shortstop Kenta Imamiya’s second in two games to open the scoring in the third inning.
Wily Mo Pena went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and Yuki Yanagida hit his first career homer, a two-run shot in the seventh. Seiichi Uchikawa’s three-run shot in the eighth put the finishing touches on the rout as Seibu lost consecutive games for the first time since July 6 and 7.
Eagles 3, Fighters 3 (10)
At Sapporo Dome, Tohoku Rakuten overcame a three-run deficit after having just one hit through five innings against Hokkaido Nippon Ham starter Masaru Nakamura. Ginji Akaminai doubled in a run in the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kazuo Matsui. Akaminai tied it in the eighth on a squeeze.
The Fighters got to Golden Eagles ace Masahiro Tanaka for three runs on four hits through the first four innings, but the right-hander retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced. Three Rakuten relievers combined to retire the last six Fighters in order to secure the draw.
Carp 7, Tigers 0
At Mazda Stadium, Bryan Bullington (6-9) allowed four hits in six innings and Yuichiro Mukae drove in three runs as Hiroshima completed a three-game sweep of Hanshin.
Bullington walked two and struck out eight, while four Carp relievers held the Tigers to a hit and two walks over the final three innings.
Dragons 4, Swallows 2
At Jingu Stadium, Chunichi’s Kazuhiro Wada and Masahiko Morino each had two hits and two RBIs, and Soma Yamauchi (9-4) lasted seven innings after allowing Tokyo Yakult to take a 2-1 lead in the first.
Chunichi leadoff man Yohei Oshima went 5-for-5 and scored four runs for the Dragons, who won their second straight game at Jingu Stadium after starting the season 0-5 with one tie.
Giants 2, BayStars 1
At Yokohama Stadium, Yomiuri’s Tetsuya Matsumoto doubled in two runs in the fifth inning off Yokohama ace Daisuke Miura (8-6), and 20-year-old right-hander Ryosuke Miyaguni (3-1) allowed a run on two hits in seven innings as the Giants won their third straight.
The BayStars’ Taketoshi Goto became the first batter to reach base against Miyaguni, when he reached the seats with one out in the fifth for his second homer in two nights. The hosts mounted a threat in the ninth with the help of an error and a walk, but Kentaro Nishimura held on to record his 17th save.