• Kyodo


Luis Mendoza allowed two runs over seven-plus innings to pick up his first win of the year as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters mauled the Pacific League-leading Chiba Lotte Marines 13-3 on Friday.

Mendoza (1-2) allowed eight hits and four walks while striking out one in his 115 pitches, allowing his only runs in the eighth inning to Alfredo Despaigne’s two-run homer with his last pitch, when his team had a 13-0 lead.

“I knew I was starting and needed to win, and it is a good thing it was in Sapporo Dome for the first win,” Mendoza said. “I struggled at the mound at the beginning but tried to just calm down, tried to keep it a close game.

“It was all about the offense tonight, my teammates supported me with all the runs and that made me feel better on the mound, and I just tried to finish strong.”

Lotte starter Takuya Furuya (0-2) was stung for 11 runs on as many hits and two walks over four innings, striking out none in a forgettable 80-pitch outing.

Nippon Ham sent 10 batters to the plate in the six-run second, putting together as many hits and a walk. Three straight singles loaded the bases and Shota Ono hit a single with one out for the opening run, before Haruki Nishikawa drew a walk for the second.

Takuya Nakashima singled in another off Furuya and Go Matsumoto also singled to drive in two, before Kensuke Tanaka hit a sacrifice fly for the last run of the inning.

Brandon Laird hit a two-run shot in the third, before doubles from Sho Nakata and Laird and a sac fly from Kensuke Kondo in the fourth added three more for the Fighters.

Nishikawa tied Laird in RBIs at three in the seventh as he went deep for two runs off Lotte reliever Kazunari Abe.

The Marines’ Takuya Takahama hit a solo homer off reliever Yodai Enoshita for the leaders’ third run, two outs after Mendoza left the mound in the eighth, but there was no chance for Lotte to continue its four-game winning run.

Hawks 3, Eagles 2

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Seiichi Uchikawa slugged a three-run homer in the fourth off Tohoku Rakuten’s Takahiro Norimoto (3-1), and Fukuoka SoftBank led for good.

The Hawks’ Nao Higashihama (1-0) allowed two runs over five innings, while Yuki Yanagita drew a walk for a league-record 16 straight games as Softbank won its fifth straight.

Buffaloes 7, Lions 4

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix’s Masahiro Nishino tripled in two runs and Yoshio Itoi plated another with a single off Yusei Kikuchi (1-2) to lead 5-0 in the fourth, putting the game beyond Seibu’s reach.

Central League

Dragons 6, Tigers 0

At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi returned to .500 on the back of seven shutout innings from Jordan Norberto (1-0) against Hanshin.

Ricardo Nanita and Tetsuya Tani had first-inning RBI singles off Atsushi Nomi (1-2), and Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run shot in the second.

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