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Baseball: Marines beat Lions 6-5 on 2-run bomb from Laird

Brandon Laird goes deep for the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Chiba Lotte Marines come from behind to beat the Seibu Lions 6-5 in the Pacific League on July 15, 2019. (Kyodo)

TOKOROZAWA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Brandon Laird went deep for the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Chiba Lotte Marines came from behind to beat the Seibu Lions 6-5 in the Pacific League on Monday.

    With the visitors trailing 5-4, Laird sent Kyle Martin's 2-2 slider to the right of the MetLife Dome scoreboard for a two-run blast.

    The 31-year-old Californian, who represented the PL in Japan's All-Star Game series on Friday and Saturday, said he had simply been aiming for "a good at-bat" before belting his 25th homer of the season.

    "Martin's a good pitcher, he throws hard. I was just making sure I had a good pitch to hit, and didn't miss it," Laird said. "It felt great. It was a big situation. To start off the second half (of the season) like that, it's a big win against a good team and hopefully we can just be ready tomorrow."

    Daiki Iwashita (4-2) got the win after a six-inning start in which he struck out two, while giving up five runs on eight hits and a pair of walks.

    Naoya Masuda got his 17th save, while former Boston Red Sox pitcher Martin (2-4) was tagged with the loss.

    The Lions had taken a 4-1 lead in the first inning after Sosuke Genda scored on a Tomoya Mori groundout, followed by an RBI double from Takeya Nakamura and a two-RBI single from Takumi Kuriyama.

    The Marines drew level in the top of the second, with Tatsuhiro Tamura coming home on a Takashi Ogino sacrifice fly before Yudai Fujioka and Katsuya Kakunaka scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch from Lions starter Tatsuya Imai.

    Yuji Kaneko scored Mori with a single to left in the bottom of the sixth, putting the Lions back up 5-4 and setting the stage for Laird's heroics.

    Elsewhere in the PL, Shu Sugahara (1-2) got his first win of the season as the Rakuten Eagles beat the Orix Buffaloes 6-2. The right-hander struck out three and did not issue a walk over five innings, conceding a pair of runs on five hits.

    The Nippon Ham Fighters rallied for four runs in the first inning, including a two-RBI triple from Kensuke Tanaka, as they beat the SoftBank Hawks 5-1 in their top-of-the-standings clash at Yafuoku Dome.

    In the Central League, the Hiroshima Carp scored four runs in the opening frame en route to an 8-5 win over the DeNA BayStars. Allen Kuri (4-5) picked up the win at Yokohama Stadium.

    At Nagoya Dome, Yohei Oshima scored the go-ahead run on a Zoilo Almonte double in the eighth as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Hanshin Tigers 4-2.

    With the score tied 4-4 through 10 innings, the Yomiuri Giants exploded in the 11th for a 7-4 victory over the Yakult Swallows at Nagano Olympic Stadium.

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