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Balentien strikes again to power Swallows past BayStars

Kyodo

Wladimir Balentien continued to swing a red-hot bat, homering three times and driving in five runs to key the Tokyo Yakult Swallows’ 12-3 victory over the Yokohama BayStars on Monday.

The Swallows scored a season-high 12 runs, and have now won six in a row. Yokohama has lost six of seven.

The Central League’s home run king two years running, Balentien, who has gone yard in three straight games, went deep in each of the first two innings and again in the eighth.

Two of the homers went outside the park at Yokohama Stadium.

Balentien raised his season total to eight, gaining fast on Yokohama’s Tony Blanco, whose two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth was his CL-leading 14th roundtripper on the year.

Lastings Milledge and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama joined in on the rout with three hits, including a homer, and three RBIs apiece. With ample run support, Kenichi Matsuoka (1-1) won his first game in two years, striking out six and allowing one earned run in six innings of work.

Dragons 11, Giants 4

At Nagoya Dome, Matt Clark’s RBI double in the fifth inning put Chunichi up for good as the Dragons overcame a four-run first by Yomiuri and sent the Giants to their fourth straight loss.

Carp 6, Tigers 5

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin drew a season-high crowd of 46,108 but disappointed as Hiroshima’s Eishin Soegi drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth with an RBI single to right.

Soegi had also tied the game at four in the sixth with a two-RBI double.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Buffaloes 12, Fighters 3

At Sapporo Dome, Lee Dae Ho homered twice and drove in six RBIs while Yoshio Itoi went 3-for-5 with four RBIs of his own as Orix stopped Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s winning streak at four.

Tomotaka Sakaguchi also had four hits for the Buffaloes, who scored all 12 runs in the first three innings.

Lions 8, Eagles 4

At Seibu Dome, Tohoku Rakuten starter Yasunori Kikuchi (0-4) was chased in the first inning without getting a single out after allowing five earned runs to first-place Seibu, which moved nine games over .500.

Hawks 4, Marines 1

At QVC Marine Field, shortstop Kenta Imamiya’s RBI double in the fourth won it for Fukuoka Softbank, which took two out of three against Chiba Lotte.