Baseball: Yasuda blasts 2 homers as Marines slaughter Lions

Hisanori Yasuda hit two of the Lotte Marines' five home runs and drove in six runs Wednesday as the Pacific League leaders crushed the Seibu Lions 11-1.

Before a good weeknight crowd at Chiba's Zozo Marine Stadium east of Tokyo, Yasuda came to the plate with two outs and two on against Seibu right-hander Tatsuya Imai (3-2) and hit his third home run of the season to put the Marines up 3-0.

"That first felt perfect coming off the bat, and I knew it was gone the instant I hit it," Yasuda said.

Yasuda then capped a third-inning rally with his second three-run homer of the night, an opposite-field shot to left and finished his night 3-for-4 with a walk.

"Since that was the first home run I'd ever hit here to left field, I was pretty surprised," Yasuda said. "Hitting one out there is a bit of a confidence boost, so I'll go into our next game in two days' time in a good frame of mind."

Lotte lefty Kazuya Ojima (5-1) allowed a run over six innings to earn the win, while Tatsuhiro Tamura, Raito Ikeda and Gregory Polanco also homered for the Marines.

Elsewhere in the Pacific League, Kotaru Kurebayashi hit a two-run walk-off homer in the Orix Buffaloes' 6-5 win over the last-place Rakuten Eagles, while a two-run Ryoya Kurihara homer brought the SoftBank Hawks from behind in a 2-1 victory over the Nippon Ham Fighters.

The Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers scored twice after being down to their last strike in the ninth inning to beat the Yakult Swallows 6-5, while the Yomiuri Giants rode a Shosei Togo (5-1) five-hitter to a 1-0 win over the DeNA BayStars, and the Hiroshima Carp whipped the Chunichi Dragons 6-2.

© Kyodo News