SENDAI – Pacific League home run leader Takeshi Yamasaki went deep twice and drove in five runs to power the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to an 11-1 rout of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on Monday.
Yamasaki sent an 0-1 fastball from Masaru Takeda over the right-field wall in the fourth inning and connected off Micheal Nakamura for a three-run drive to left in the eighth at Fullcast Stadium, increasing his season total to a career-high 40 homers.
The veteran slugger previously had a 30-homer season just once in his career with 39 homers for the 1996 Chunichi Dragons.
Jose Fernandez also homered in the third and added a two-run single in a three-run fifth.
Hideki Asai (6-6) limited the Fighters to three hits in six shutout innings before Rui Makino allowed an RBI single to Makoto Kaneko in the top of the seventh.
The Fighters had their league lead cut to 3.5 games over the idle Lotte Marines.