CHIBA – Tony Batista went 4-for-5 with a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning Tuesday as the Softbank Hawks beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 6-2 for their ninth straight win and reclaimed first place in the Pacific League.
After Lotte retied the game at 2-2 on a Koichi Hori sacrifice fly in the fourth, Munenori Kawasaki and Batista hit back-to-back doubles off Naoyuki Shimizu (7-5) with none out in the sixth before RBI hits from Julio Zuleta and Jolbert Cabrera made it 5-2 two outs later.
Kenji Jojima, Zuleta and Batista hit solo drives in the 13-hit attack at Chiba Marine Stadium, helping the Hawks stand atop of the league for the first time since April 23. Struggling Lotte lost its fourth in five games.
Toshiya Sugiuchi (11-2) became the first 11-game winner in either league after allowing two runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Fighters 15, Lions 5
Michihiro Ogasawara delivered a go-ahead RBI single off Katsuyuki Hoashi (7-5) as Nippon Ham erupted for five runs in the third inning en route to handing Seibu its fifth loss in a row in an 18-hit demolition at Sapporo Dome.
Hiroshi Narahara had a two-run double to key the big inning, giving Nippon Ham a 5-3 edge, before Narahara and Yukio Tanaka added RBI triples to extend the lead to 7-4 through five innings.
Buffaloes 3, Eagles 2
At Osaka Dome, pinch-hitter Makoto Shiozaki executed a squeeze bunt for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and two Orix relievers held Rakuten scoreless over the last three innings.
Giants 7, Swallows 6
At Tokyo Dome, Yoshinobu Takahashi hit a game-tying two-run homer and Tuffy Rhodes hit a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run as Yomiuri overcame a four-run deficit to down Yakult.
Tigers 14, Carp 4
BayStars at Dragons — ppd.
Chiang is Giant
The Yomiuri Giants have signed Taiwanese pitching prospect Chiang Chien-ming following a tryout held earlier this month, the Central League club said Tuesday.
The 20-year-old Chiang, a key starter for Taiwan in the Asian Baseball Championship in Miyazaki in May, has agreed on an annual salary of 5 million yen and will start his career in Japan next month on the Giants’ minor-league team.
Fighters get Lee
SAPPORO (Kyodo) The Nippon Ham Fighters have acquired Triple-A left-hander Corey Lee from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization, the Pacific League club announced Tuesday.
Nippon Ham and Lee have agreed on a deal carrying a 25 million yen annual salary for this year, which is expected to give him a spot in the starting rotation of the Sapporo-based team.
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