SAPPORO – Lee Dae-ho hit a grand slam and had three hits to contribute the heavy firepower in his team’s 17-hit onslaught as the front-running Fukuoka Softbank Hawks trounced the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 13-2 on Wednesday night.
The Hawks, who saw their magic number to clinch the pennant drop to eight, took command early when they built a 5-0 lead in the second inning, featuring Kenta Imamiya’s two-run single and a two-run triple by Keizo Kawashima at Sapporo Dome.
Each of the Hawks’ starting nine had at least one hit against the second-place Fighters, who are 12-1/2 games back. It was oftbank’s 80th victory of the season.
The Hawks piled on four runs in the fourth and Lee took Hiroshi Urano deep to left-center after the right-hander loaded the bases, staking the team to a 13-0 lead in the top of the sixth.
Rick van den Hurk (8-0) limited the damage to one run, despite scattering seven hits and walking one in six innings. Mitsuo Yoshikawa (10-7) was rocked for nine runs in 3-2/3 shaky innings.
The Fighters scored a run on a sac fly by Kensuke Kondo in the home half of the sixth and added a run in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.
Eagles 4, Marines 2
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium, Kazuo Matsui gave his team the lead with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and catcher Motohiro Shima had a run-scoring double the same frame as Tohoku Rakuten edged Chiba Lotte and snapped its losing skid at three games.
Koji Aoyama (4-4) won in relief.
Buffaloes 4, Lions 0
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Prince Dome, Orix second-year right-hander Daiki Tomei (10-5) pitched a two-hitter in his first career shutout as the last-place Buffaloes downed Seibu, which saw its winning streak snapped at four.
Takahiro Okada had a two-run single to key a four-run third inning.
Tigers 4, Giants 3 (11)
At Koshien Stadium, Matt Murton delivered a dramatic walk-off RBI double off reliever Scott Mathieson (3-8) in the 11th inning as CL-leader Hanshin downed archrival Yomiuri.
Dragons 3, Carp 3 (12)
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Chunichi played out a tie against Hiroshima in a game that featured 10 pitchers.
The Dragons failed to capitalize on a first-and-third opportunity with none out in the 11th.
BayStars at Swallows —- ppd.
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