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September Thursday

Cuban pitcher Raidel Martínez gets even with his 16th save in Japanese baseball

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 9 (ACN) After being beaten up Tuesday, reliever Raidel Martinez took revenge today and got his 16th save of the season, in the 4-1 victory of the Chunichi Dragons over the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the Japanese Central League.

Yesterday, Martínez allowed five runs in just two thirds, but did a better job today from the mound of the Mazda Stadium of Hiroshima to leave the Toyo Carp without hits or runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The lanky right-hander has tallied five saves in his last seven starts and reduced his ERA to 2.10, enough to rank fifth place in saves in the Central League, despite the fact that he traveled to Mexico with the Cuban team that played in the pre-Olympic America qualifiers and joined the Dragons several days after the start of the season.

Fellow Cuban and teammate Dayán Viciedo (1B) went 0-1, with two walks and an HBP, to keep his batting average at 292. Another Cuban, Ariel Martínez, struck out as a pinch-hitter and saw his BA drop to 255.

Meanwhile, slugger Alfredo Despaigne went 0-2 at the MetLife Dome in Tokorozawa, where the SoftBank Hawks notched a 9-0 win over the Seibu Lions, and outfielder Leonys Martin tied the Pacific League home run lead again on Wednesday, hitting his 25th homer and a double in four innings and batting in all of his team's runs in the Lotte Marines' 4-1 victory against the Orix Buffaloes. Martin has six RBIs in two games—69 so far, the second best in his league—and bats for 254.

His teammate Adeiny Hechavarría only played as shortstop and had no at-bats, so his BA is still 204.

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