Ariel Martínez goes yard, but Nippon-Ham falls to Rakuten. (+Asian League Report)

Ariel Martínez connected on his tenth longball of the season and swatted two singles in four at-bats. The slugger also drove in a run, but his effort were not enough to prevent the Nippon Ham Fighters from dropping the game 3-2 to the Rakuten Eagles at Es Con Field of Hokkaido. The first baseman who had not gone yard since June 17, raised his average to .258 and his total RBIs to 29 on the season.

Raidel Martínez notched his twenty-first save of the year after retiring all three batters he faced unison in the ninth to preservea Chunichi Dragons’ 4-2 win over the Yakult Swallows at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo. The right-hander from Pinar del Río, Cuba has yet to allow an earned runs so far this year, kept his ERA at 0.00 and took over the Central League lead in saves. His compatriot Dayán Viciedo went 1-for-4, with a single, a run and an RBI, to raise his average to .234 on the season.

Alfredo Despaigne missed in 2 at-bats and walked 2 in the SoftBank Hawks’ 4-2 loss to the Seibu Lions at the Fukuoka Pay Pay Dome. His average dropped to .158. The slugger who has hit 184 homeruns in the land of the rising sun has yet to find his rhythm with the lumber this season.

In the KBO the game between the SSG Landers and the Doosan Bears was postponed due to rain. In the CPBL the league continues to be in recess until July 14th, the league’s All-Star Game will be played on the 29th of that month.

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