Ryosuke Sawai and Koichi Hori each drove in three runs Friday as the Lotte Marines defeated the Kintetsu Buffaloes 8-3 in the final game of the Japanese baseball season.

Hori connected for a two-run homer off Kintetsu starter Hiroshi Takamura (9-10) in the second inning before Sawai hit a three-run drive, also off Takamura, in the fourth before a home crowd of 29,000 at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Kintetsu tied the game 2-2 in the third but Takamura allowed seven runs and eight hits in four innings of work and failed in his bid to earn double-digit wins for the first time in 10 years.

Norihiro Nakamura missed a chance to earn his third straight Pacific League RBI title as he went 1-for-4 and ended the season two RBIs shy of teammate Tuffy Rhodes, who returned to the United States on Wednesday with two games remaining.

With the loss, the Buffaloes finished tied for second in the PL, matching the Daiei Hawks with a 73-65-2 record. Both teams were 16.5 games behind the league champion Seibu Lions.

Kosuke Kato (11-15) pitched six innings while yielding three runs and six hits for the win. He walked two and struck out eight.

Masahide Kobayashi came on with two outs in the ninth and got the final out in a non-save situation. He remained one short of PL saves leader Kiyoshi Toyoda of the Seibu Lions.

In other baseball news, right-hander Daisuke Miura, eligible to become a free agent in the offseason, has agreed to continue playing for the Yokohama BayStars next year, officials of the Central League club said.

According to officials, Miura has indicated that he will not consider negotiating with other teams by saying that he “would like to stay with the BayStars until they tell me they don’t need me anymore.” Miura went 4-10 with a 3.23 ERA in 19 games this season.

So far, Miura and outfielder Takanori Suzuki are the only ones to opt to stay with the team among the five Yokohama players who have obtained the right to file for free agency.

The BayStars finished at the bottom of the league standings with a 49-86-5 record.

Meanwhile, the Nippon Ham Fighters said they have named Junji Imamura, auditor of Nippon Meat Packers Inc., as president of the Pacific League club.

Imamura took over from Takeshi Kojima, who has resigned from the post but will continue as acting club owner, a little more than a year before Nippon Ham moves its franchise from Tokyo to Sapporo.

“I’m ready to build a strong franchise that can be a regular contender for the title,” Kojima said, adding that “the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters” is among the candidates for the new team name after the move to the Hokkaido capital.

The personnel change is part of Nippon Ham’s bid to revitalize its operations plagued by perennially low attendance at the Fighters’ home games.

Nippon Ham finished fifth in the league this season, 28 games behind the champion Seibu Lions. It last won the PL title in 1981.

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