TOKOROZAWA – Jason Standridge kept the damage under control, pitching two-run ball over seven effective innings, Seiichi Uchikawa and Yuki Yanagita drove in five runs between them, and the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks routed the Seibu Lions 11-3 on Tuesday night.
The Pacific League frontrunner, which triumphed in its third consecutive game, has won four straight series following the All-Star break. The Hawks are showing no signs of a slowdown, despite recently losing second baseman Yuichi Honda to an injured left finger.
Standridge (9-4) scattered five hits and walked four. Kazuhisa Makita (5-7) got tagged for five runs in six innings of the loss.
Yanagita gave his team the lead with a two-run triple with two outs in the fifth. Keiji Akashi got in on the action with a leadoff blast in the sixth before the Hawks piled on more damage with six runs in the final two frames.
The Lions got on the scoreboard first with consecutive RBI doubles by Takeya Nakamura and Ernesto Mejia for a 2-0 lead in the opening frame.
But the Hawks tied it in the third, when Akira Nakamura came through with an RBI double and Lee-Dae ho knocked in the tying run on a two-out single to left.
Buffaloes 4, Fighters 3
At Obihiro-no-Mori Stadium, Wily Mo Pena blasted a two-out solo drive for his second homer of the day to break a 3-3 tie in the ninth inning and Buffaloes closer Yoshihisa Hirano slammed the door for his 31st save in a 1-2-3 bottom half as Orix held off Hokkaido Nippon Ham. Sho Nakata hit a pair of solo shots for the Fighters.
Marines 6, Eagles 4
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Toshiaki Imae drilled a tiebreaking two-out solo homer in the fourth inning as Chiba Lotte beat Tohoku Rakuten to win its third game in a row and move into fourth place. Rookie Ayumu Ishikawa (7-5) got the win, despite yielding four runs in five innings. Last-place Rakuten dropped a season-worst 18 games under .500.
Carp 3, Dragons 2 (11)
At Toyohashi Stadium, Atsushi Fujii hit a one-out solo homer off Ren Nakata (7-5), his second “sayonara” blast of the season, in the 11th inning as Chunichi downed Hiroshima. Closer Hitoki Iwase (1-2), the sixth pitcher to take the mound for Chunichi, won in relief.
Tigers 20, Swallows 11
At Jingu Stadium, the Tigers got their so-called “Road of Death” started right, beating Yakult in a 39-hit slugfest. Matt Murton came within a triple of the cycle and Takahiro Arai had a grand slam among his five RBIs. Second-place Hanshin, which had a season-high 23 hits, won’t return home to Koshien Stadium until Aug. 29.
BayStars 7, Giants 6 (12)