• The Associated Press


Benny Agbayani drove in a pair of runs Tuesday as the Pacific League-leading Chiba Lotte Marines pounded the Central League’s last-place Yomiuri Giants 11-0.

News photoChiba Lotte Marines starter Shingo Ono gets in position to grab a grounder during an
interleague game against the Yomiuri Giants on Tuesday at Nagano Olympic Stadium. Ono picked
up his fifth win in the Marines’ 11-0 win.

Agbayani hit a solo homer in the second inning and drove in another run with a single in the seventh at Nagano Olympic Stadium. Kazuya Fukuura gave Lotte a 5-0 lead in the eighth with a two-run shot to the right field stands off Yomiuri reliever Hideki Okajima.

Lotte starter Shingo Ono picked up the win after striking out five and holding the Giants to nine hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

Lotte catcher Tasuku Hashimoto added a two-run homer and Koichi Hori doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the ninth when the Marines scored six more runs to complete the one-sided win.

Koji Uehara took the loss for the Giants.

Eagles 3, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Kevin Hodges gave up one run on five hits over 7 1/3 innings as Rakuten edged struggling Chunichi to snap a five-game losing streak.

Hidemitsu Saito drove in a pair of runs in the sixth inning with a single up the middle as the Eagles handed the Dragons their third straight loss. Chunichi is just 4-12 in interleague games.

Hawks 6, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Toshiya Sugiuchi gave up one run on six hits over eight as Softbank cruised to a win over Yokohama.

Naoyuki Omura hit a pair of solo homers for the Hawks and Jolbert Cabrera drove in a pair of runs in the eighth with a single to left.

Carp 6, Fighters 2

At Hiroshima Stadium, Tomonori Maeda connected for a three-run homer in the fifth inning to power the Carp over Nippon Ham.

Hiroshima starter Hiroki Kuroda struck out eight and gave up two runs on three hits over the distance for the win.

Buffaloes 4, Tigers 2

At Kurashiki’s Muscat Stadium, Hirotoshi Kitagawa went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs to power Orix past Hanshin.

Jeremy Powell picked up the win after holding the Tigers to two runs on four hits over eight innings.

Lions at Swallows — ppd.

Players undecided

The Associated Press

The head of the Japanese baseball players’ association expressed concern Tuesday over the timing of an international tournament that Major League Baseball is planning for next year.

“If it came down to a question of March or November, November would be better for us,” Yakult Swallows catcher Atsuya Furuta told reporters.

MLB and the league’s players’ association have approved the 16-nation World Baseball Classic, which would be played in March.

Japanese players, as well as Nippon Professional Baseball, have voiced concerns over holding the tournament in March, just before the start of their season.

“That’s a very important time of the year,” added Hiroshima Carp pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. “Everybody is busy getting ready for the start of the regular season.”

NPB officials have also raised objections as to how revenues from the tournament would be distributed, arguing that MLB and its players would take most of the profits.

MLB hopes to have agreements in place that will allow a formal launch of the tournament during it’s All-Star Game in July.

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