Wladimir Balentien of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows hit his 49th and 50th home runs Tuesday to move within five of tying Japanese baseball’s single-season record.
Balentien hit a three-run homer in the second inning and added a solo shot in the seventh at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo. The Chunichi Dragons won the game 10-8.
Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh holds the record of 55 set in 1964 and matched by former major leaguers Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002.
Balentien, a native of Curacao, played for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds before signing with the Swallows in 2011. He hit 31 homers in each of his first two seasons in Japan.
The Swallows have 33 games remaining in the regular season.
For Chunichi, Matt Clark keyed a five-run second inning with a two-run home run, and Hirokazu Ibata went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, including a leadoff homer in the fourth.
Closer Hitoki Iwase pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 30th save.
Carp 8, BayStars 1
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Yokohama tied it 1-1 in the top of the eighth but the Carp pulled ahead in bottom half on first baseman Tony Blanco’s error and erupted for six more runs in a demolition of Yokohama.
Hiroshima catcher Yoshiyuki Ishihara hit a three-run blast to key the big inning. Katsuhiro Nagakawa (3-1) allowed one run in the eighth but got the win.
Daisuke Miura (8-10) lost his third decision in five games for the BayStars, who dropped their third in a row.
Buffaloes 4, Eagles 0
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Takahiro Matsuba tossed two-hit ball over seven innings en route to winning his first decision since May 22 as Orix blanked PL leader Tohoku Rakuten.
Matsuba (4-4) struck out four and walked four and picked up his first win in seven starts. Jim Heuser (1-1) went five innings on two-run ball — one earned — in the loss.
For the Buffaloes, Aarom Baldiris had a sacrifice fly and Keiichi Hirano had a pair of RBI singles.
Lions 4, Fighters 3
At Sapporo Dome, Seibu’s Hideto Asamura hit a go-ahead, two-run single with two outs in the fifth inning and delivered a two-run drive off Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Yuya Ishii (4-5) to overturn a one-run deficit in the seventh, helping the Lions end their losing streak at three.
Takayuki Kishi (9-5) limited the damage to three runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Three relievers held the Fighters scoreless the rest of the way, with Dennis Sarfate earning his sixth save.
Nippon Ham saw its unbeaten streak snapped at six games.
Marines 6, Hawks 0
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Tomoya Satozaki had a two-run single and Shunichi Nemoto added a two-run double to highlight a five-run second as Chiba Lotte thumped Fukuoka Softbank to snap its losing skid at three.
Tomohisa Otani (2-3) threw 6 2/3 shutout innings allowing just two hits, struck out five and walked one. Hawks right-hander Nagisa Arakaki (1-1) got roughed up for five runs in 1 2/3 innings.