Tony Batista and Julio Zuleta both hit solo homers Thursday as the Pacific League-leading Softbank Hawks downed the Chiba Lotte Marines 7-1.

News photoJulio Zuleta of the Hawks is congratulated by manager Sadaharu Oh and his teammates after hitting a solo homer in the top of the third inning Thursday night at Chiba Marine Stadium. Softbank beat Lotte 7-1.

Katsuhiro Miyaji gave the Hawks a 3-0 lead in the second inning at Chiba Marine Stadium with a two-run homer off Lotte starter Naoyuki Shimizu.

Batista and Zuleta homered in the next frame as the Hawks took a 4-1 lead. With the victory, Sadaharu Oh’s team snapped a three-game losing streak and opened up a three-game lead in the Pacific League standings.

Nobuhiko Matsunaka also had an big night at the plate for the Hawks, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

Softbank starter Hideaki Takahashi picked up the win after holding the Marines to one run on four hits over 4 2/3 innings.

The Marines entered Thursday’s game having won three straight from the Hawks and were hoping to close the gap in the standings to one game. Both teams have already ensured themselves of at least a place in the PL playoffs.

Fighters 1, Buffaloes 0

At Kobe’s Skymark Stadium, Fernando Seguignol connected for a solo homer in the top of the seventh inning as Nippon Ham edged Orix.

Orix starter Jeremy Powell took the loss, despite giving up one run on three hits over eight innings.

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