Zuleta, Karakawa lead Lotte’s rout of Seibu


Julio Zuleta hit a three-run drive for his first home run of the season and went 3-for-4, helping power the Chiba Lotte Marines in a 10-1 pounding of the Seibu Lions to end a five-game losing streak on Saturday.

Tasuku Hashimoto’s two-run double got things rolling in a five-run first inning, which was capped off by Zuleta’s shot over the left-field wall off Fumiya Nishiguchi (0-3) at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Akira Otsuka had a bases-clearing double to extend the lead in a five-run seventh against the Pacific League leader.

Rookie Yuki Karakawa (2-0) retired the first 13 batters he faced and pitched a three-hitter in his first career complete game, striking out 10 with no walks. Seibu saw its winning streak end at three.

Hawks 6, Buffaloes 4

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, rookie Shota Oba threw 6 2/3 effective innings and got backup from Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Hiroki Kokubo, who drove in five runs between them in a 14-hit attack, in Softbank’s win over Orix.

Oba (3-3) allowed five hits and four runs, including a solo homer by Hirotoshi Kitagawa in the sixth inning and Keiji Obiki’s two-run drive in the seventh. D.J. Houlton worked the ninth for his fourth save. Chihiro Kaneko (2-3) took the loss.

Fighters 12, Eagles 5

At Sapporo Dome, Takahito Kudo and Kensuke Tanaka drove in three runs apiece and the Nippon Ham bullpen held off Tohoku Rakuten in a seesaw contest to lead the team to its fifth win in a row.

The teams tied 1-1 and 4-4 through the third, but Kudo had a two-run triple followed by Tanaka’s sacrifice fly to give Nippon ham a 7-4 lead in the fourth. Kudo and Tanaka hit back-to-back RBI singles to help Nippon Ham to a 10-4 lead in the fifth.


Tigers 9, Dragons 1

At Nagoya Dome, Yuya Ando pitched one-run ball over eight innings and Central League frontrunner Hanshin banged out a season-high 16 hits on the way to winning its 20th game in a rout of Chunichi.

Carp 4, BayStars 3

At Hiroshima Stadium, Soichiro Amaya went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and left-hander Ken Takahashi helped his own cause with a two-run home run as Hiroshima edged Yokohama.

Giants 5, Swallows 0

At Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Yakult left-hander Kyohei Muranaka came within two outs of a no-hitter but allowed a double by Yoshiyuki Kamei before pinch-hitter Noriyoshi Omichi broke a scoreless deadlock with a two-run double.