• Kyodo


Catcher Tatsuhiro Tamura had four hits and three RBIs to help power the Chiba Lotte Marines to a 10-4 thumping of the Seibu Lions in the Pacific League on Sunday afternoon.

Tamura doubled, homered and added a late RBI single, and Jason Standridge (5-5) pitched into the sixth inning as the second-place Marines bounced back from an extra-inning loss the night before.

“We have been giving up runs often, so we have been forced to score a lot,” Tamura said. “I made some adjustments with coach Hori (batting coach Koichi Hori), eliminating some excess movement and working to get a better look at the ball.

“That paid dividends in interleague, but it can’t just be a matter of hitting now. I have to stay hungry for these results, prepare for every opposing pitcher every game, while keeping this image of success in mind.”

In front of 32,153 at Seibu Prince Dome, the Marines got on the board early but managed just two first-inning runs after loading the bases with no outs against rookie Shinsaburo Tawata (1-3). After a Texas Leaguer and a bunt single, Tawata walked the bases loaded and Alfredo Despaigne delivered a sacrifice fly with the hardest-hit ball of the inning.

The second run scored on a groundout before Tawata worked out of further trouble. The Marines, however, added another run in the second after a leadoff double by Tamura. With two outs and runners on the corners, an error by third baseman Yuji Kaneko made it 3-0.

Three singles in the bottom of the second got Seibu on the board with a run. Trailing by two, Tawata appeared to be settling into a rhythm with two quick outs in the third, but Shohei Kato singled and Tamura made it 5-1 with his first home run of the season.

The Lions scored an unearned run in the third, an error and a no-out single allowing the hosts to collect a run on a double play grounder.

Tawata finished with two scoreless innings, because center fielder Shogo Akiyama robbed Despaigne of a two-out RBI double in the fourth, leaping to make a catch in front of the screen.

The Lions chased Standridge in the sixth, scoring twice on four hits. Hideto Asamura, who scored Seibu’s first run, singled with one out. Takumi Kuriyama doubled and a groundout brought in one. Tatsuyuki Uemoto, whose pinch-hit single on Saturday allowed the Lions to win in extra innings, cut the Marines’ lead to a run with another pinch-hit single.

Standridge allowed four runs, three earned, in 5⅔ innings. He gave up 10 hits but no walks, while striking out four.

Despaigne, however, drew a leadoff walk in the seventh from lefty Hirotaka Koishi, and restored Lotte’s two-run lead on a single by Kato. The visitors widened their lead in the ninth against Seibu’s fourth pitcher, lefty Yasuo Sano, who allowed four runs on four hits, two walks and a passed ball.

The second-place Marines will take on the PL-leading Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks starting on Monday, and Tamura said his first duty will be to take care of business behind the plate.

“Because we’ve been giving away too many runs, against SoftBank, run prevention has to take priority,” Tamura said.

Fighters 6, Buffaloes 0

At Kyocera Dome, Shohei Otani (7-4) struck out 11 over seven innings and went 1-for-3 with a walk and scored twice en route to winning his sixth straight start as Hokkaido Nippon Ham defeated Orix, which lost six straight for the first time this season.

Hawks 5, Eagles 1

At Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Kenichi Nakata (3-1) allowed a run on three hits in five innings and three Fukuoka SoftBank relievers held Tohoku Rakuten hitless over the final four innings.


Giants 9, BayStars 4

At Yokohama Stadium, Garrett Jones homered three times and drove in seven runs and Tetsuya Utsumi (3-2) pitched into the ninth as Yomiuri won to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of Yokohama.

Carp 4, Tigers 3

At Mazda Stadium, league-leading Hiroshima ran its win streak to nine games for the first time in 18 years, coming back against tough Hanshin starter Yuta Iwasada (4-5). The Carp tied it on Tsubasa Aizawa’s two-out, bases-loaded single in the ninth and scored the winning run moments later on a dropped ball in center field by Masahiro Nakatani.

Swallows 5, Dragons 4 (11)

At Jingu Stadium, Masayoshi Miwa’s pinch-hit, bases-loaded single won it as Tokyo Yakult completed a three-game sweep of Chunichi after closer Logan Ondrusek blew a three-run, ninth-inning lead.


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