Shunichi Nemoto homered and drove in four runs and Daichi Suzuki went 4-for-5 with three RBIs as the Lotte Marines walloped the Softbank Hawks 11-3 on Sunday afternoon.
The Pacific League-leading Marines matched a season high with 17 hits and improved to 40-28 with one tie on the season.
Yuta Omine (4-1) limited the damage to three runs, despite allowing nine hits in six-plus innings. He struck out four and walked one batter.
It was lights out when Lotte erupted for seven runs against Softbank lefty Kazuyuki Hoashi (5-3), who was chased in one-plus inning in the game at QVC Marine Field.
"It looks like they were sitting on my breaking ball. It's my fault. I ruined the game for us," said Hoashi, whose nightmare was a flashback to his rookie season with the Seibu Lions in 2001, when he allowed six runs in one-plus inning at the same park.
Lotte catcher Naoya Emura and Nemoto each had a two-run single in the inning, while Suzuki had a pair of RBI singles before the Hawks managed to record the third out. The Marines sent 14 men to the plate and had nine hits in the inning to seize a 7-1 lead.
Hoashi's bread and butter is his palm ball, which ties up right-handed hitters but is less effective against lefties. With that in mind, the Marines batters were looking for Hoashi's slider tailing away on the outside part of the plate.
"I was thinking slider," said the left-hitting Suzuki, whose first single to right tied the game 1-1.
First-year Lotte manager Tsutomu Ito, who as Hoashi's former skipper with Seibu admitted to knowing the lefty's weakness against left-handed batters, stacked his lineup with five lefty batters.
"Left-handed batters do well against him. That was the key point," said Ito. "We were able to play station-to-station baseball. We're on the right track."
Lions 8, Fighters 4
At Sapporo Dome, Seibu capitalized on Nippon Ham's defensive lapses in the eighth inning, Masato Kumashiro hitting a tiebreaking RBI single before two runs scored on a fielder's choice and a throwing error and Esteban German capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Rookie reliever Tatsushi Masuda (1-1) retired the only batter he faced to earn his first career win. Naoki Miyanishi (1-1) took the loss for Nippon Ham, which saw its winning streak snapped at five games.
Eagles 2, Buffaloes 1, 10 innings
Kazuo Matsui's second-inning sacrifice fly tied the game and Casey McGehee delivered a tiebreaking RBI double off Yoshihisa Hirano (1-3) with one out in the 10th, lifting Rakuten past Orix, whose sole hit was Shunta Goto's first-inning homer, the first of his career.
Rakuten went eight games above .500 for the first time in four seasons. Brandon Duckworth combined with three relievers on the one-hitter. Koji Aoyama (1-3) worked a scoreless ninth for the win and Darrell Rasner picked up his ninth save with a perfect 10th.
Giants 2, Swallows 0
At Kusanagi Stadium, Toshiya Sugiuchi threw 5-2/3 innings of four-hit ball, Takayuki Terauchi and Yoshitomo Tani had RBI singles in the fifth and CL leader Yomiuri won a close game against Yakult.
Sugiuchi (6-4) struck out six and walked none before handing the baton to Scott Mathieson. Kentaro Nishimura closed for his 18th save. Masanori Ishikawa (2-6) yielded two runs in six innings to take the loss. Tani's RBI was his first of the season.
BayStars 3, Dragons 2
At Yokohama Stadium, Norihiro Nakamura hit a solo blast in the second inning for his 10th homer of the season and decided the game with a walk-off RBI single in the ninth in DeNA's win over Chunichi.
After Nakamura's drive, his 400th career homer, Chunichi rallied to go ahead 2-1 before Hitoshi Tamura's homer tied it leading off the home half of the eighth. Daisuke Miura (6-5) went the distance. Chunichi catcher Motonobu Tanishige appeared in his 2,832nd game, surpassing Sadaharu Oh for second most in Japanese baseball.
Carp 2, Tigers 0
At Koshien Stadium, Hiroshima starter Kenta Maeda scattered nine hits en route to beat Hanshin in his first shutout of the season and his first win since May 26.
Maeda (6-4) fanned nine and issued no walks. Yoshihiro Maru had a sacrifice fly in the first, and Maeda helped his own cause with an RBI single in the second. Takumi Akiyama (0-1) took the loss. Takashi Toritani appeared in his 1,246th consecutive game to match Tokuji Iida on the all-time list for fourth. Hideki is next on the list at 1,250 straight games.