TOKOROZAWA, SAITAMA PREF. – The Pacific League-leading Seibu Lions scored six runs in the third inning Wednesday night on the way to an 8-4 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines, as they forced the visitors to go deep into their bullpen.
The Lions bounced back from their 7-5 loss on Tuesday at MetLife Dome to claim a 2-1 series win over the Marines, who dropped from third to fifth place with the loss.
Seibu starter Daiki Enokida was credited with his seventh win of the season after pitching five innings. The 31-year-old lefty, traded to Seibu by the Hanshin Tigers in March, struck out three and walked three, while giving up two runs on six hits.
Lotte starter Yuki Ariyoshi took the loss after lasting just 2-2/3 innings. The 27-year-old right-hander gave up seven hits and six runs, five of which came during a nightmare stretch in the bottom of the third.
The home team opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when Marines third baseman Daichi Suzuki fumbled an attempt to tag out Shuta Tonosaki, allowing the Lions right fielder to reach home on a Takeya Nakamura ground-ball double.
Hideto Asamura extended the Lions’ lead with a two-run blast in the bottom of the third, sending an Ariyoshi offering deep over center field for his 18th homer of the season.
Ariyoshi then gave up singles to Hotaka Yamakawa and Tonosaki before walking Nakamura to load the bases.
With two outs, Seibu left fielder Yuji Kaneko grounded a double to left that brought home all three base runners and prompted Lotte manager Tadahito Iguchi to give Ariyoshi his marching orders.
Marines reliever Chen Kuan-yu quickly found himself in trouble as Shogo Akiyama moved Kaneko to third with a single before Sosuke Genda drove in the final run of the inning with a fly single to left.
With two out in the top of the fifth, Seiya Inoue sent Enokida’s pitch into the stands to put Lotte on the board after Shogo Nakamura tripled with a fly to right. The two-run effort was the Marines first baseman’s 16th homer of the season.
Iguchi opted to open the fifth with righty Masaki Minami, who promptly gave up a double to Nakamura and an RBI single to Genda that saw the Lions take an 8-2 lead.
Errant pitching, including a pair of walks, from Lions closer Fabio Castillo helped the Marines put together a two-run rally in the top of the ninth, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.
Buffaloes 8, Eagles 3
Dragons 2, BayStars 1
Giants 7, Swallows 3
Tigers at Carp — ppd.