Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Lions' Mejia torments Eagles in rout

Venezuelan slugger bashes two homers, drives in eight runs on four-hit night

Kyodo

Ernesto Mejia had four hits, including two home runs, with eight RBIs as the Seibu Lions pounded the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 15-3 on Monday to move up to third in the Pacific League.

Mejia hit a grand slam off Rakuten starter Takashi Kawai (0-2) in the third to make it 5-0, and smacked a solo shot in the eighth to hand Seibu a 12-3 lead in the rain at Kobo Stadium.

“The lefty struck me out in the first at-bat so I was trying to put the ball in play,” Mejia said of his grand slam. “I didn’t want to strike out in that at-bat, and good things happen when you just try to (put) the ball in play.”

The 18-year-old Kona Takahashi (4-1), Seibu’s first-round draft pick last year, held the Eagles to two runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batsman over five innings while striking out four for his fourth straight win.

Hideto Asamura’s one-out RBI single, the first of three straight off Takashi Kawai (0-2), put the Lions on the scoreboard in the third. Kawai then issued a walk to load the bases before Mejia’s slam.

After Kawai was chased, Asamura added another run in the fourth off reliever Hiroyuki Fukuyama with a two-out RBI triple, and Mejia drove Asamura home with a single.

With the bases loaded in the sixth, Takeya Nakamura drew his third walk of the day to make it an 8-2 game before Mejia plated two more with a single.

Nakamura hit a solo shot in the ninth for his league-leading 35th home run of the season.