Ariel Martínez extends his hitting streak to eight in Nippon-Ham’s win. (+Asian League Report)

Ariel Martinez went 2-for-3, drove in a run and walked the Nippon Ham Fighters to a 5-0 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines at Es Con Field in Hokkaido. The first baseman from Matanzas,Cuba extended his hitting streak to eight consecutive games, watched his average rise to .259 and augmented his RBI total to 54 on the campaign.

Dayán Viciedo drew a walk in a pinch-hitting appearance to keep his average at .239 in the Yomiuri Giants’ 2-0 win over the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome. The slugger who was once a cornerstone of the team’s offense has been relegated to a bench player and pinch-hitter due to his lack of production.

Alfredo Despaigne failed in two trips to the plate and drew two walks to watch his average drop to .107 on the season in the Orix Buffaloes’ 2-1 victory over the SoftBank Hawks. The slugger has hit 184 homeruns during his career in Japan, the most by a Cuban in the Nippon League.

There was no Cuban action on the day in the CPBL or the KBO on the day. Elían Leyva is scheduled to take the mound Saturday for Rakuten against the Uni-Lions first the first time since the All-Star break. On the season the right-hander has a 4-1 record, 3.05 ERA and has fanned 49 in 56 innings pitched.

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