OSAKA – A day after he robbed himself of a home run, Orix’s Chris Marrero made no mistakes, when his solo homer helped the Buffaloes to a 5-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons on Saturday.
Marrero opened the scoring with his first homer in NPB, leading off the fourth inning at Kyocera Dome with a blast into the upper deck in left center. On Friday, he reached the seats with his first NPB hit, only to see it ruled a triple — he was called out at home on appeal because he stepped over home plate but not on it.
This time, the former San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals outfielder planted both feet firmly on home base to the delight of the 30,472 in attendance.
“I feel good. I came here to help and I’m happy I got my first home run,” said Marrero, who hit it so far that there was no doubt about anything but his finishing footwork.
“I think the fans in the stands were waiting to see me touch home plate.”
Takahiro Matsuba started for Orix, but he blew a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning on solo homers by Dayan Viciedo and Alex Guerrero and an RBI single by Kyohei Kamezawa. Matsuba allowed three runs in 6-1/3 innings.
Chunichi starter Yuya Yanagi (0-2), however, allowed the Buffaloes to regain the lead in the eighth on a two-run Hiroyuki Nakajima double and a sacrifice fly by Eiichi Koyano. Yoshihisa Hirano closed out the Dragons in the ninth to earn his 13th save.
Lions 6, BayStars 2
At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Shogo Akiyama went 3-for-4 with his 12th homer and three RBIs to help power Seibu past Yokohama.
Eagles 2, Carp 1
At Sendai’s Kobo Park, Japhet Amador hit a game-tying solo homer in the fifth, Carlos Peguero plated Eigoro Mogi with an eighth-inning double and Manabu Mima (7-1) outdueled Yusuke Nomura (3-2) as Tohoku Rakuten beat Hiroshima in a battle of rival league leaders.
Tigers 5, Hawks 1
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Koyo Aoyagi (3-2) allowed a run in five innings, while Kento Itohara and Hiroki Uemoto each doubled in two runs in the second inning as Hanshin defeated Fukuoka SoftBank.
Marines 4, Swallows 1
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Tatsuhiro Tamura tripled in the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning and Kota Futaki (4-0) allowed a run in seven-plus innings to earn the win as Chiba Lotte beat Tokyo Yakult.
The Swallows have lost 10 straight for the first time in five seasons.
Fighters 3, Giants 2
At Sapporo Dome, Sho Nakata’s eighth-inning, two-run double overturned a one-run deficit as Hokkaido Nippon Ham snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Yomiuri.
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