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Italian Maestri goes distance for Buffaloes

Kyodo

Orix’s Italian international Alessandro Maestri (2-1) threw a four-hitter on Sunday as the Buffaloes, wearing throwback uniforms from the defunct Kintetsu Buffaloes, put on an old-style offensive display in a 7-1 win over the Seibu Lions.

Maestri, who was signed from the independent Shikoku Island League in July, struck out 11 without issuing a walk for his first complete game with the Buffaloes. The 27-year-old, who was born in Cesena, Italy, represented his country in the first two World Baseball Classics.

“I felt very good. I haven’t thrown nine innings in a while,” said Maestri, who had been used as a reliever this season before he joined Orix.

Wearing the distinctive red and white uniforms of the old big-hitting Kintetsu Buffaloes, Orix brought out the lumber against the Lions with Takahiro Okada doubling in two runs in the top of the first off third-year right-hander Yosuke Okamoto (0-1), who was making his first career start.

Buffaloes rookie Takayoshi Kawabata doubled in two more runs in the second, and Lee Dae Ho completed the scoring with a two-run homer in the seventh. Lee leads the Pacific League with 21 homers and 77 RBIs.

Eagles 1, Fighters 0 (10)

At Kleenex Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten ace Masahiro Tanaka (7-4) allowed three hits and no walks over 10 innings for his first victory since July 13 as the Golden Eagles won in their final at-bat for the second straight night.

Three Fighters pitchers kept the hosts off the scoreboard through nine. Shintaro Masuda opened the 10th with a double off Dustin Molleken (0-1). With two outs, Takero Okajima plated pinch-runner Wataru Nishimura from third with an infield single.

Marines 3, Hawks 3 (10)

At QVC Marine Field, Fukuoka Softbank pinch hitter Seiichi Uchikawa broke a 2-2 tie with a sixth-inning sacrifice fly, but Chiba Lotte bounced back in the seventh on a pinch-hit RBI double from veteran Kazuya Fukuura and the two clubs played to a 10-inning tie.

Hawks right-hander Brian Falkenborg, who pitched for the first time since June 26 and just the second time since May 12, was one of seven Softbank relievers. Teruaki Yoshikawa, making his first start in three years, lasted just 2⅓ innings.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Swallows 2, Dragons 0

At Nagoya Dome, Kyohei Muranaka (7-5) threw a two-hitter in his first shutout of the season and Tokyo Yakult’s second in two games. The lefty changed speeds effectively to hold Chunichi hitless through five innings.

The Swallows scored both of their runs in the fourth inning on RBI singles by Lastings Milledge and Shingo Kawabata. Yakult improved to 6-3-1 at Nagoya Dome this season, where the Dragons are 32-5-6 against all other opponents.

Giants 11, BayStars 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Yomiuri knocked out Yokohama early with a five-run second inning that featured an RBI double by Hayato Sakamoto and a two-run single by Shinnosuke Abe. Giants starter Ryosuke Miyaguni (4-2) allowed two unearned runs in 6⅔ innings to get the win.

The visitors continued to pile it on in the third on a solo homer by former BayStar Shuichi Murata off Kisho Kagami (2-2). Abe pounded his 19th homer of the year in the sixth, a two-run shot that made it 11-0.

Tigers 3, Carp 2

At Mazda Stadium, Hanshin first baseman Craig Brazell, making his first start in over a week, hit a three-run homer, and right-hander Jason Standridge (6-9) pitched into the eighth inning to earn the win over Hiroshima, his first victory since July 10.

Standridge allowed two runs on seven hits and a hit batsman in 7⅔ innings. He struck out three and walked none. Hanshin had just four hits, but three came in the fourth inning, culminating in Brazell’s 10th home run of the year.