Baseball / MLB

Orix, Kintetsu sign merger agreement

Kyodo

The Orix BlueWave and Kintetsu Buffaloes signed a basic agreement on their merger Tuesday amid fierce opposition from players and fans.

BlueWave President Takashi Koizumi and Buffaloes President Tetsuya Kobayashi announced the signing, which took place a month after the Pacific League ballclubs received the green light to the merger plan from the owners of the 12 professional baseball clubs.

Under the agreement, the merged club will be run by a new company jointly owned by Orix Corp. and Kintetsu Corp., the parents of the two teams. It will be owned 80 percent by Orix and the rest by Kintetsu.

BlueWave owner Yoshihiko Miyauchi will become the owner of the new team based in both Kobe and Osaka in line with the plan approved at the July 7 owners meeting. Currently, the location of a team’s hometown is limited to within one prefecture.

The BlueWave are based in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, while the Buffaloes’ hometown is Osaka in neighboring Osaka Prefecture.

The 14-point agreement does not mention the name of the merged team nor its home stadium. Kintetsu earlier voiced hope that it will be named the Orix Buffaloes.

“I’m very glad that we signed this agreement, which we had been aiming for from the start. We want to take a next step based on this,” Koizumi said.

Orix and Kintetsu plan to finalize their merger with formal approval from the owners when they meet Sept. 8, after getting the nod from the executive committee of Nippon Professional Baseball on Aug. 30.

Lions rip Hawks

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Jose Fernandez homered twice and drove in six runs Tuesday as the Seibu Lions hammered the Pacific League-leading Daiei Hawks 12-4 with their fourth straight victory.

Fernandez hit a three-run shot in a four-run first inning and singled home a run to ignite a five-run fifth after the Hawks came within one run through four innings at Fukuoka Dome.

Marines 5, Buffaloes 4

In Chiba, Koji Hirashita hit a three-run homer and veteran right-hander Satoru Komiyama pitched six strong innings to earn his first win since May 8 as Lotte held off a late rally to edge Kintetsu.

Fighters 7, BlueWave 1

In Kobe, Fernando Seguignol capped a five-run fifth inning with a three-run homer and Sherman Obando added a two-run shot in the eighth as Nippon Ham handed Orix its seven straight loss.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Dragons 4, Giants 0

In Nagoya, Kenshin Kawakami pitched his second complete-game shutout of the season, leading first-place Chunichi to a victory over Yomiuri.

Carp 15, Swallows 5

At Jingu Stadium, Shigenobu Shima hit a two-run single as Hiroshima sent 10 batters in a four-run fifth inning on its way to producing a league-high 24 hits this season in a romp over Yakult.

BayStars 8, Tigers 4

In Sapporo, Takuro Ishii tripled home the go-ahead run and Takahiro Saeki hit a two-run homer as Yokohama batted around in a six-run sixth inning to overcome a two-run deficit on the way to victory over Hanshin.