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Baseball: Lions outslug Buffaloes in feisty clash

Buffaloes first base coach Manabu Satake is seen at lower left. (Kyodo)

TOKOROZAWA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Shuta Tonosaki hit a three-run, first-inning home run, leading the Seibu Lions to an 11-4 Pacific League win over the Orix Buffaloes on Tuesday that saw three ejections.

    With the Lions leading 5-1 in the third, the benches emptied momentarily after Lions starter Hiromasa Saito hit Shunta Goto, although nothing came of it. The teams exchanged words and shoves earlier this month in Osaka, and things heated up when Orix catcher Kenya Wakatsuki was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning.

    Wakatsuki took a few steps toward the mound before heading toward first base at the umpire's urging. However, Buffaloes first base coach, Manabu Satake, charged the mound and shoved Lions reliever Ryosuke Moriwake. The benches emptied again, Moriwake was ejected and both benches were warned against retaliation.

    In the bottom of the inning, with the Lions leading 5-2, however, Wakatsuki three times called for pitches well inside to Lions catcher Tomoya Mori. Buffaloes' starter Daiki Tajima (3-4) hit Mori with a pitch and was ejected. That loaded the bases and Lions cleanup hitter Takeya Nakamura put the game on ice with a three-run double.

    Lions pitcher Kaima Taira was ejected in the ninth for hitting Orix leadoff hitter Shuhei Fukuda. Fukuda was also ruled to have been hit with a pitch to open the first inning.

    Stefen Romero hit a pair of solo home runs for the Buffaloes, while Lions designated hitter Ernesto Mejia went 4-for-5, scored twice and drove in three runs.

    Elsewhere, rookie Rei Takahashi (10-3) outdueled Rakuten rookie Hayato Yuge (2-1) as the PL-leading SoftBank Hawks beat the Eagles 3-0.

    At Tokyo Dome, Hiromi Oka, who scored the tying run as a pinch-runner, doubled in the ninth and scored the go-ahead run on Shogo Nakamura's single as the Lotte Marines scored five runs in the inning to beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 6-1.

    In the Central League, Seiya Suzuki doubled to open the 11th inning and scored his second run of the game on Yoshitaka Isomura's sacrifice fly as the Hiroshima Carp won 2-1 at Mazda Stadium to snap the Yomiuri Giants' five-game winning streak.

    At Jingu Stadium, Wladimir Balentien's seventh-inning double plated Norichika Aoki with the go-ahead run as the Yakult Swallows came from behind to beat the DeNA BayStars 8-7.

    At Nagoya Dome, the Hanshin Tigers had eight hits and drew seven walks but were unable to score in their 12-inning scoreless tie with the Chunichi Dragons.

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