Kintetsu Buffaloes cleanup hitter Norihiro Nakamura swung the big bat, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and newly acquired slugger Nigel Wilson slammed a solo homer as the defending Pacific League champions beat the Orix BlueWave 6-3 in their season-opener at the Osaka Dome on Saturday.

With the BlueWave leading 2-1 in the third inning, Nakamura drove home two runs with a double down the third-base line.

In the fifth, Yuji Yoshioka and Wilson hit back-to-back homers, adding three runs for the Buffs.

Kintetsu starter Sean Bergman held Orix to two runs over six innings while striking out seven to pick up the win. Akira Okamoto earned the save.

Lions 3, Marines 2

Daisuke Matsuzaka went the distance, giving up two runs on seven hits while fanning 10 batters to help Seibu beat Lotte at the Sapporo Dome.

Matsuzaka walked two and allowed two runs in the ninth inning on Tasuku Hashimoto’s double with two out, but held on for his first win ever on Opening Day in three tries.

The Lions broke a 0-0 deadlock in the fifth inning with Scott McClain’s RBI single off Lotte starter Nathan Minchey (0-1). With two out, Hiroyuki Takagi singled home a run to make it 2-0.

After Seibu added a run in the seventh, Lotte rallied with two out in the ninth but came up a run short.

Hawks 4, Fighters 3

Daiei newcomer Morgan Burkhart belted a tie-breaking solo homer in the eighth inning off Nippon Ham reliever Hiroshi Shibakusa (0-1) to lift Daiei over the Fighters at the Fukuoka Dome.

Trailing 3-1, Daiei’s Tadahito Iguchi connected for a solo shot in a game-tying two-run sixth inning.

Veteran Keizaburo Tanoue held Nippon Ham to five hits while yielding three runs in 7 1/3 innings for the win.

Rodney Pedraza, who led the PL with 34 saves last season, got two out for his first save of the year.


Carp 2, BayStars 1

Pinch-hitter Takahiro Arai drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Carp edged Yokohama at Hiroshima Stadium.

Luis Lopez tied the game for the Carp on a sacrifice fly to center in the seventh and Arai singled home Koichi Ogata for the game-winner after the Hiroshima center fielder singled with two out and stole second.

Carp hurler Shigeo Tamaki picked up the win, pitching one scoreless inning in relief of starter Shinji Sasaoka, who held the BayStars to four hits over seven innings, allowing one run on a sacrifice fly.

Swallows 5, Dragons 4

Yakult shortstop Shinya Miyamoto had three hits, including an RBI double in the Swallows’ three-run fifth as the defending Japan Series champ edged Chunichi at the Nagoya Dome.

Akinori Iwamura singled and doubled and scored twice to pace Yakult, who posted an opening-day win for the fourth year in a row.

Swallows lefty Shugo Fujii gave up four runs on eight hits – including back-to-back homers by Kosuke Fukudome and Leo Gomez in the fourth – and struck out eight over 7 1/3 innings (1-0), and three relievers shut out the Dragons the rest of the way.

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