Omatsu, Imae power Marines past Hawks


Shoitsu Omatsu hit a three-run homer, Yuji Yoshimi won despite allowing four runs in six innings and the Chiba Lotte Marines beat the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 9-6 on Saturday to move back into a tie for first place after one day.

Omatsu took left-hander Toshiya Sugiuchi (15-6) deep to right-center to cap a five-run first at Yahoo Dome. Toshiaki Imae drove in three runs in a 2-for-4 outing.

“I knew it was important for us not to lose this game today, especially since we were facing Sugiuchi. I wanted to get us on the scoreboard first so we could take advantage,” said Omatsu. “I knew it was a fly ball to the outfield but I was kind of surprised that it went out.”

The Marines went ahead 9-0 through the top of the fourth before Softbank rallied for six runs, featuring Hitoshi Tamura’s two-run blast in the sixth.

Yoshimi (6-5) gave up six hits, struck out three and walked none and Hiroyuki Kobayashi picked up his 25th save. Sugiuchi (15-6) issued six walks, three with the bases loaded, and surrendered a career-worst nine runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Buffaloes 2, Fighters 1

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Aarom Baldiris and Daisuke Maeda hit back-to-back RBI singles in the second inning and Orix beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham for its first win in three games.

Lefty Shinya Nakayama (1-2) went seven scoreless innings, striking out three with two walks for his first win in two years. Ryota Katsuki got the final five outs for his first save.

Yu Darvish (10-7) allowed two runs and struck out seven with no walks in eight innings but failed to get the run support he needed.

Lions 5, Eagles 5 (12)


Tigers 9, Swallows 2

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Matt Murton went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs as Hanshin routed Tokyo Yakult and regained the CL lead.

Murton had a solo blast in the fifth inning and a three-run double in the ninth. Takashi Toritani and Takahiro Arai each went 3-for-5 with two RBIs for Hanshin.

Takumi Akiyama (1-1) outpitched fellow rookie Masato Nakazawa (7-8) with five innings of one-run ball.

Carp 4, Giants 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Jun Hirose hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning as Hiroshima used just two hits to beat Yomiuri, which fell out of first place with its second loss in a row.

Shigenobu Shima followed a Kenta Kurihara sac fly with an RBI double for a 2-0 lead in the first. Giancarlo Alvarado (6-6) allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings. Satoshi Fukuda (3-4) took the loss.

Dragons 5, BayStars 3