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Leadoff hitter Tsuyoshi Nishioka went 5-for-6 and drove in three runs Saturday as the Chiba Lotte Marines defeated the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 12-4 to hand the struggling expansion team their seventh straight loss.

News photoHiroshima’s Greg LaRocca smacks a two-run homer off Yakult Swallows starter Ryo Kawashima on Saturday at Matsuyama Stadium. The Carp won 4-0.

Nishioka had two singles in the second inning at Fullcast Stadium when the Marines scored seven runs to knock Rakuten ace Hisashi Iwakuma out of the game.

Lotte starter Naoyuki Shimizu held the Eagles to four runs on seven hits over seven innings to pick up the win as Bobby Valentine’s team won their third straight.

Rakuten got a two-run homer from Takeshi Yamasaki and solo homers from Luis Lopez and Koichi Isobe, but couldn’t erase a 10-0 lead the Marines built up after just 1 1/3 innings.

The Eagles have not won a game since April 13.

Hawks 6, Lions 4

At Invoice Seibu Dome, Nobuhiko Matsunaka doubled in a run in the first inning and hit a solo homer in the top of the fifth to power front-running Softbank over the Lions.

Fighters 8, Buffaloes 4 (10)

At Tokyo Dome, Satoshi Nakajima drove in a pair of runs on a single to right as Nippon Ham scored four runs in the top of the 10th inning to beat Orix.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Dragons 6, Giants 1

At Nagoya Dome, Daisuke Yamai gave up one run on five hits over 7 2/3 innings as Chunichi downed Yomiuri.

Yomiuri veteran Kazuhiro Kiyohara went hitless in four at-bats and remains one homer run shy of recording his 500th career homer.

Carp 4, Swallows 0

In Matsuyama, Yasuhiro Oyamada struck out nine and scattered eight hits over the distance and Greg LaRocca hit a two-run homer as Hiroshima blanked Yakult.

Yakult catcher Atsuya Furuta had one hit in four at-bats and needs just one more to reach 2,000 career hits.

Tigers 3, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Tomoaki Kanemoto hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Andy Sheets added a solo blast in the sixth as Hanshin edged the BayStars.

Sasaki: ‘Demote me’

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) The Yokohama BayStars deactivated closer Kazuhiro Sasaki from their active roster Friday, one day after the right-hander blew a save opportunity for the third time this season.

BayStars manager Kazuhiko Ushijima said Sasaki offered to join Yokohama’s farm team, where he intends to regain his form through rehab appearances, after allowing the Yakult Swallows to score two runs in the ninth inning for a 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

Sasaki had failed to convert a save twice early this season before picking up four saves in as many chances. He is 0-3 with four saves in eight games with a 9.53 ERA.

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