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Baseball: Marines' bullpen falters against Fighters' late rally

Yuki Ariyoshi of the Lotte Marines (Kyodo)

OBIHIRO, Japan (Kyodo) -- Yuki Ariyoshi pitched seven solid innings Wednesday but the Lotte Marines' bullpen gave up seven runs and allowed the Nippon Ham Fighters to stage a late comeback rally for an 8-7 walk-off win.

Ariyoshi, the Marines' fifth pick in the 2016 draft, scattered four hits and held the Fighters to a run, but a five-run eighth followed by back-to-back runs in the ninth squandered the right-hander's work.

Sho Nakata, who drove in five runs the day before, plated Kensuke Kondo with a two-out double at Obihiro Stadium. Nakata cranked a deep shot to right-center, allowing Kondo to circle the bases and beat the tag at home. Nakata drove in a run in the eighth and singled home Kondo to win it in the ninth after Kondo had tripled in the tying run.

"Kondo made my job easy, and I wanted to drive him in so we could win as a team," Nakata said. "I was kind of lost in the moment, but I was so happy it got through."

In the second, right-hander Toshihiro Sugiura yielded a walk and a hit to put runners on first and second. Daichi Suzuki drove in the tying and go-ahead runs but was tagged trying to reach third for inning-ending out.

Sugiura was replaced in the third after giving up a two-run homer to Shogo Nakamura and allowing the Marines to take a 4-1 lead.

Nakamura led off the sixth with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly, and Tatsuhiro Tamura's seventh-inning single bounced off an outfielder's glove to bring home Suzuki, who had doubled to left center.

Shohei Kato drove in the Marines' final run in the eighth, but the Fighters rallied against three Lotte relievers in the bottom of the inning to pull within a run.

Kenshi Sugiya led off with a solo homer, and Brandon Laird went deep to left for a three-run shot after Nakata's second RBI of the game.

"The wind held my ball up and kept it from being a home run, while it pushed Laird's out," Nakata said. "I thought, 'What's up with that?' since I had been trying to hit a home run."

Marines' righty Naoya Masuda (2-5) fanned his first batter in the ninth, but yielded Go Matsumoto fouled off seven two-strike pitches before drawing a 13-pitch walk.

Kondo tripled, and Nakata singled down the left line to end it.

Nippon Ham reliever Hiroshi Urano (2-5) picked up the win for retiring the side in order in the ninth.

The Fighters' sweep of their two-game eastern Hokkaido series left them in second-place spot at 52-39, while the Marines haven't won since they completed a three-game sweep of the Orix Buffaloes on July 22.


Hawks 14, Lions 6

At MetLife Dome, lefty Kotaro Otake (1-0), picked by SoftBank in the fourth round of last year's developmental draft and promoted after going 8-0 on the farm team, held league-leading Seibu to two runs over eight innings to win his first-team debut.


Eagles 4, Buffaloes 2

At Kyocera Dome, Rakuten's Shintaro Masuda drove in the winning run in extra innings. Masuda broke a 2-2 deadlock with two strikes and two outs in the top of the 12th, hitting Orix right-hander Kazumasa Yoshida (3-4) for a two-run double.


Central League

Giants 7, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Mitsuo Yoshikawa (4-3) allowed a run in seven innings, while Kazuma Okamoto hit his 19th home run and drove in four runs as Yomiuri whipped DeNA.


Dragons 8, Tigers 5

At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi's Shuhei Takahashi hit two home runs in a game for the first time in his career, had an RBI double and drove in six runs to help Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-3) earn the win over Hanshin. Matsuzaka's fourth win was his most in a single top-flight season since he went 9-6 for Boston in 2010.


Carp 13, Swallows 7

At Jingu Stadium, Seiya Suzuki went 5-for-5 with two of Hiroshima's six home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs in the league leaders' win over Yakult.

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