Chiba – Tsuyoshi Sugano and Seiya Inoue both hit two-run first-inning home runs and right-hander Atsuki Taneichi allowed three runs over six innings to earn the win as the Chiba Lotte Marines held off the Saitama Seibu Lions 6-4 in the Pacific League on Saturday.
The Marines rocked Lions starting pitcher Wataru Matsumoto (0-2) for six runs, five earned, over four innings at Chiba's Zozo Marine Stadium, while Taneichi (1-1) struck out 10, while scattering seven hits, two walks and two hit batsmen.
Two Lions runners reached in the top of the first, but Sosuke Genda was caught stealing to help ease that danger, and Taneichi got slugger Hotaka Yamakawa to ground out and end the inning.
The hosts put the leadoff man on in the first when Takashi Ogino reached on an error. With one out, Sugano opened the scoring with his first homer of the season. Matsumoto walked Brandon Laird and Inoue homered for the second straight game.
At Osaka's Kyocera Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters reliever Katsuhiko Kumon (0-1) made a pair of costly fielding mistakes in the bottom of the eighth, easing the way for a four-run inning by the Orix Buffaloes, who broke a 1-1 tie and went on to win 5-3.
At Fukuoka's PayPay Dome, Kenji Akashi scored two early runs and broke a 4-4 tie with a seventh-inning RBI single for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in their 8-4 win over the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, who lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
In the Central League, the Hiroshima Carp scored six runs against Chunichi Dragons right-hander Akiyoshi Katsuno (0-1) over two-plus innings in a 19-4 win at Nagoya Dome.
At Hotto Motto Field Kobe, Yasuhiro Ogawa (3-0) allowed two runs over six innings, and Munetaka Murakami doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in their 9-4 win over the Yomiuri Giants.
At Koshien Stadium, two-time CL home run king Neftali Soto broke a 2-2 ninth-inning tie with a two-run home run off Hanshin Tigers closer Kyuji Fujikawa (0-2) in a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.