SENDAI – The Seibu Lions pounded out 15 hits, putting the brakes on the Pacific League-leading Tohoku Rakuten Eagles in a 10-5 win on Wednesday afternoon.
Lions captain Hideto Asamura went 5-for-6 with a pair of RBIs as Seibu overturned an early 3-0 deficit with two runs each in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
The Lions battered Eagles starter Takahiro Norimoto (1-1) for six runs in five innings. The three-time PL strikeout king lacked both control and command of his pitches. He fell behind in counts, threw hittable pitches and surrendered 10 hits and four walks, while striking out four.
“We were facing an excellent pitcher and I wanted to be more aggressive than usual. I was looking for fat pitches and I got them,” said Asamura, whose RBI single opened the scoring with one out in the third.
“Our first two hitters were willing to draw walks and set the table, and I batted so as not to cut our rallies short.”
Leadoff man Shogo Akiyama walked four times and doubled, while cleanup hitter Takeya Nakamura hit his first two homers of the season, while also drawing a pair of walks.
The Eagles, one of the surprises of the young season, opened well against second-year right-hander Shinsaburo Tawata. Their red-hot, top-of-the-order combination of Eigoro Mogi and Carlos Peguero put two quick runs on the board before 20,329 at Kobo Park Miyagi.
Mogi drew a walk and Peguero followed with his fourth homer of the year. Some fortunate singles and some sharp base running by Ginji Akaminai made it 3-0, but Norimoto was soon giving the lead away.
Tawata left after three-plus innings, having allowed three runs on three walks and six hits. His replacement, Tatsuya Oishi (1-0) allowed only one of the six batters he faced to reach and earned the win in relief.
Nakamura, who has led the PL in home runs six times, made it 7-3 with a solo home run in the sixth and added a three-run shot in the ninth.
Japhet Amador plated Mogi in the ninth with his first homer of the season for the Eagles.
Fighters 4, Hawks 3
At Sapporo Dome, Takayuki Kato (1-0) allowed two runs in six innings, and Brandon Laird’s two-run, fifth-inning home run broke a 2-2 tie.
Hirotoshi Masui worked the ninth and earned his first save of the season for Nippon Ham.
Marines 6, Buffaloes 4
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Jason Standridge (1-0) allowed three runs in five innings to earn the win for Chiba Lotte.
For the Buffaloes, a pair of errors proved costly as Orix surrendered three unearned runs and saw its six-game win streak come to a halt.
Carp 9, Giants 5
At Tokyo Dome, Takahiro Arai and Brad Eldred each homered twice off Tetsuya Utsumi (1-1), who allowed six runs in three innings, and rookie Hiroki Tokoda (1-0) allowed five runs in seven innings to earn his first win as Hiroshima beat Yomiuri.
Dragons 5, Swallows 2, 10 innings
At Jingu Stadium, pinch hitter Atsushi Fujii tripled home the tie-breaking run in the 10th and Kyohei Kamezawa hit a two-run homer to complete the scoring as Chunichi held off Tokyo Yakult.
Dragons starter Raul Valdes allowed two unearned runs in seven innings and maintained his .500 batting average with an RBI single in two at-bats.
Tigers 8, BayStars 6
At Yokohama Stadium, Shota Imanaga (0-1) blew a two-run lead, by allowing eight runs in five innings and took the loss when Yokohama’s late-inning comeback fell short against Hanshin.
Tigers closer Rafael Dolis struck out slugging superstar Yoshitomo Tsutsugo to end the game with potential tying run in scoring position.