SENDAI – Josh Whitesell homered three times and Yuji Nishino won the first game of his career in his first start as the Chiba Lotte Marines defeated the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 11-2 to snap a three-game skid Monday.
In a makeup of Sunday’s rainout, Whitesell struck out in his first at-bat but went deep in his next three for his second five-RBI game in Japan.
Katsuya Kakunaka added a grand slam, the first of his career, in Lotte’s seven-run sixth.
Nishino (1-0) scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings, striking out five and walking two. In his first career appearance on March 30 against the Orix Buffaloes, the 22-year-old right-hander threw 2 2/3 innings of middle relief, allowing one run on six hits.
“It’s fantastic,” Nishino said. “I’m over the moon about this. I have to thank my teammates for backing me.”
Rakuten lasted all of one day in first place in the Pacific League.
The Yokohama BayStars will offer a single VIP family ticket package worth ¥1 million, the team said Monday.
According to the club, the package is for up to five people for the April 28 day game against the Hanshin Tigers at Yokohama Stadium. It will include limousine service, a helicopter tour and luxury accommodation.
At dinner in Yokohama’s Chinatown, manager Kiyoshi Nakahata and members of the team’s top brass will make an appearance.
Applications to purchase the package will be accepted starting Tuesday and conclude April 15. The winner will be determined by lottery.