Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Chris Marrero caps late rally as Buffaloes end Hawks' win streak

Kyodo

Chris Marrero drove in the winning runs on Sunday as the Orix Buffaloes claimed a 5-2 come-from-behind victory over the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks to end the Pacific League leaders’ nine-game win streak.

The Buffaloes struggled against Hawks’ starter Yuki Matsumoto at Kyocera Dome before a nine-batter, five-run eighth. Marrero’s bases-loaded double broke a 2-2 tie against the visitors’ bullpen and helped the hosts take one win from the three-game series.

Matsumoto took a two-hitter into the eighth before exiting with two outs and two on, and the Buffaloes seized the chance.

Against reliever Shinya Kayama (0-2), Shuhei Fukuda tied the game with a sinking liner to center that Hawks outfielder Go Kamamoto could not keep from dropping — a call that was upheld by video review.

After Kayama left, Koji Oshiro singled and Masataka Yoshida drew a walk off Arata Shiino to set the table for the former big leaguer Marrero, who had gone 0-3 up to that point. Marrero hammered a high slider and drove it over Kamamoto’s head to the warning track.

The Hawks put early pressure on Orix starter Daichi Takeyasu when a Taisei Makihara single and a Seiichi Uchikawa double put the visitors on the board. Nobuhiro Matsuda led off the fourth with a double, advanced to third on a sac bunt and scored SoftBank’s second run on a sac fly.

Takeyasu yielded nine hits and a walk but struck out nine of the 28 batters he faced over seven innings to limit the damage. Taisuke Kondo (3-4) got the win for a scoreless eighth, and Brandon Dickson closed out the ninth for his fifth save.

Fighters 6, Eagles 3

At Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi in Sendai, Ryo Watanabe homered and scored three runs as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters won, handing the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles their ninth-straight loss.

Marines 8, Lions 2

At Zozo Marine Stadium, the Lotte Marines scored four unearned runs to beat Seibu, despite the Lions piling up 10 hits and six walks.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Dragons 7, Swallows 1

At Nagoya Dome, the Tokyo Yakult Swallows squandered a first-inning leadoff homer from Tetsuto Yamada when starting pitcher Hirotoshi Takanashi (4-5) gave up six runs in the first inning in a loss to the Chunichi Dragons.

BayStars 6, Giants 4 (13)

At Tokyo Dome, Hikaru Ito homered for the second-straight day, his three-run shot breaking a sixth-inning tie as the Yokohama BayStars won to snap the Yomiuri Giants’ seven-game win streak.

Tigers 1, Carp 0

At Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Haruto Takahashi (2-2) struck out nine over eight innings and Rafael Dolis earned his 18th save as the Hanshin Tigers beat Hiroshima. The Carp have lost eight-straight games, their longest losing streak since 2014.