SENDAI – Carlos Peguero hit a grand slam and Manabu Mima worked six innings as the Pacific League-leading Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles came from behind to beat the Seibu Lions 6-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Mima (5-1) allowed his only run on a leadoff homer to six-time PL home run king Takeya Nakamura in the second, one of five hits he gave up while striking out seven and walking none.
“My pitching wasn’t exactly solid, but the guys caught the ball well and scored some runs,” Mima said after the Eagles improved to 4-4 against the Lions — the only team whom they don’t have a winning record against this season.
The Eagles had trouble getting started against the Lions’ Yasuo Sano (2-1), who had pitched against them just once in his career. The lefty, however, got a scare in the bottom of the third.
After two walks and a hit batsman, Zelous Wheeler drove him to the wall for the final out, just missing a grand slam, but it did prove to be a sign of things to come.
With one out and the bases loaded on two walks and a single in the fourth, Takero Okajima singled in two runs to make it a 2-1 game. Okajima said he’d promised Mima before the game that he’d deliver but had grounded out in the Eagles’ scoreless third inning.
“Mima was really angry with me behind the bench,” Okajima said with a laugh. “So I was really glad I could get that hit.”
Another hit loaded the bases with one out, sending Sano to the showers. Side-arm lefty Frank Garces was brought in to face the top of the order, and he got one out before Peguero exacted payback after being hit by a pitch in the third.
The 192-cm Dominican launched a 0-1 slider high over the right-field wall for his 10th home run of the season.
Sano (2-1) was charged with five runs on three hits over 3⅓ innings. He walked five and struck out three.
Marines 2, Buffaloes 1
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Kota Futaki (3-0) struck out nine over the distance to outduel Takahiro Matsuba (1-4), who surrendered a third-inning, two-run single to Ikuhiro Kiyota as Lotte handed Orix its ninth straight loss.
The Buffaloes tied their franchise record for losses in a month with 19.
Hawks 13, Fighters 8
At Sapporo Dome, Alfredo Despaigne homered for the fourth straight game — a three-run, first-inning blast — and Nobuhiro Matsuda and Seiichi Uchikawa also went deep as Fukuoka SoftBank outslugged Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
Tigers 9, BayStars 2
At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Koyo Aoyagi (1-2) allowed two unearned runs over six innings, and veterans Kosuke Fukudome and Yoshio Itoi homered off Phil Klein (2-2) in a five-run third inning as first-place Hanshin beat Yokohama.
Dragons 4, Swallows 2
At Nagoya Dome, Atsushi Fujii tripled home Alex Guerrero to break a 2-2, eighth-inning tie to lift Chunichi over Tokyo Yakult and earn Japan’s career saves leader, 42-year-old Hitoki Iwase (1-3), his first win in three seasons.
Carp 9, Giants 0
At Tokyo Dome, Aren Kuri (4-4) allowed three hits over a career-high eight innings as Hiroshima smashed Yomiuri starter Ryosuke Miyaguni (0-5) for seven runs in 3⅔ innings.
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