Julio Zuleta hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run outburst in the first inning as the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks maintained the lead for good in a 6-4 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines on Saturday, stretching the team’s winning streak to 11 games.

News photoFukuoka Daiei slugger Julio Zuleta is congratulated by teammates after hitting a three-run homer in the first inning at Chiba Marine Stadium. The Hawks beat Chiba Lotte 6-4 to extended their club-record winning streak to 11.

Zuleta connected off Nate Minchey (4-3) after Kenji Jojima drew a bases-loaded walk — the fourth walk of the inning — and Hiroshi Shibahara followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to give Daiei a 5-0 cushion in the Pacific League game at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Junji Hoshino (4-2) gave up four runs, three earned, and five hits in 5 1/3 innings for the win and Koji Mise got the final three outs for his 15th save.

“Everyone has been getting lots of hits and it’s wonderful to be playing on a team like that. I’m not trying to hit homers, I’m just trying to help the team win,” said Zuleta, who has 18 homers this season, eight of them three-run shots.

BlueWave 4, Buffaloes 1

At Yahoo BB Stadium, Kazuya Motoyanagi (5-6) issued no walks in a complete game effort that featured nine strikeouts and eight hits as Orix beat Kintetsu.

Keiichi Hirano hit a two-run single with one out and the bases loaded in the first inning to put Orix on the board.

Lions 6, Fighters 5 (11)

In Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Kazuhiro Wada singled in the winning run in 11th as Seibu beat Nippon Ham.


Carp 9, Swallows 8

At Matsuyama Botchan Stadium, Itsuki Asai connected for a pinch-hit triple in the bottom of the ninth inning to drive in the “sayonara” run as Hiroshima edged Yakult.

After the Hiroshima bullpen squandered a seven-run lead to tie the game 8-all, Andy Sheets reached on an infield single and came around to score the winner when Asai delivered a fastball by Ryota Igarashi (2-1) to right-center.

Giants 1, Tigers 0 (11)

At Tokyo Dome, pinch-hitter Koji Goto drew a bases-loaded walk off reliever Yuya Ando in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Yomiuri over Hanshin.

Koji Uehara allowed four hits in nine scoreless innings in a pitcher’s duel with Hanshin’s Shinobu Fukuhara, who went seven scoreless innings.

BayStars 9, Dragons 4 (10)

At Nagoya Dome, Takahiro Saeki drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the top of the 10th inning to lift Yokohama over Chunichi.

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