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Baseball: Arihara makes most of Fighters' 1st-inning knockout blow

Kohei Arihara of the Nippon Ham Fighters (Kyodo)

KUSHIRO, Japan (Kyodo) -- Pitcher Kohei Arihara threw eight shutout innings and the Nippon Ham Fighters backed him with a 10-run first inning in Tuesday afternoon's 14-1 mauling of the Lotte Marines.

At Kushiro Stadium, on the other side of Hokkaido from the Fighters' home base of Sapporo, Nippon Ham had 11 hits in the first inning alone against Marines starter Ayumu Ishikawa (9-5) who retired just two of the 14 batters he faced in his two-thirds of an inning on the mound.

The 11 hits allowed in an inning set a Pacific League record, and tied Nippon Professional Baseball's record set in 1986 by Kazuhiko Takahashi of the Taiyo Whales, the predecessors of the DeNA BayStars.

Sho Nakata, who had five RBIs including three in the first inning, singled home Haruki Nishikawa to open the scoring with one out in the first. But Oswaldo Arcia really got the ball rolling with a one-out, three-run double off the fence in left.

"It feels good to win the way we did, with everyone doing their job well," Arcia said.

Arihara (7-2), who had retired the Marines in order in the top of the first, scattered four singles and a walk, while striking out five.

"Last year I was unable to show the fans here in Kushiro anything good, so I'm glad I was able to do that today," Arihara said. "I'm grateful to the hitters for making my job easy today. They were really locked in."

The Fighters, who missed the postseason last year after winning the PL and the Japan Series in 2016, started the day three games back of the PL-leading Seibu Lions.

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Lions 7, Hawks 4

At MetLife Dome, Takeya Nakamura and Ernesto Mejia, who shared the PL home run title in 2014, homered from the No. 8 and 9 spots, respectively to lead Seibu's five-home run attack in a win over SoftBank.

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Eagles 6, Buffaloes 4

At Kyocera Dome, Orix reliever Kazumasa Yoshida (3-3) surrendered four eighth-inning runs to blow a two-run lead. Ginji Akiminai delivered Rakuten's big blow, a tie-breaking, two-run double.

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Central League

Giants 6, BayStars 0

At Yokohama Stadium, Yomiuri lefty Tetsuya Utsumi (4-2) scattered six hits, two walks and a hit batsman to post his first shutout since September 2014. The shutout defeat was the sixth of the season for DeNA.

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Dragons 7, Tigers 2

At Nagoya Dome, Onelki Garcia (11-5) allowed two runs over seven innings and Chunichi broke a 1-1 tie on a two-run sacrifice fly in its win over Hanshin.

With the bases loaded and the outfield playing shallow, center fielder Shunsuke Fujikawa had to jump to catch Yohei Oshima's drive. Fujikawa landed awkwardly and could only manage a week throw to the infield, allowing Yota Kyoda to score from second.

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Carp 6, Swallows 3

At Jingu Stadium, eighth-inning home runs by Tomohiro Abe and Kosuke Tanaka allowed league-leading Hiroshima to overcome a ninth-inning rally, when Yakult scored a run and then loaded the bases against closer Shota Nakazaki.

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