Cubans Remain as Key Players in Japanese Baseball

Raidel Martinez and Dayan Viciedo were essential in the 8-5 away victory of the Chunichi Dragons

Cubans Raidel Martinez and Dayan Viciedo both reached the same figure (15) last week and were key figures in the 8-5 away victory of the Chunichi Dragons over the Yokohama DeNA BayStars in the Japanese Professional Baseball League (NPB).

The right-handed closer Martinez came out of the bullpen in the bottom of the ninth frame to strike out the three batters he faced and earn his fifteenth save of the season, second in that department in the NPB Central League; and his ERA dropped to 1.09.

For his part, 1B Viciedo hit a three-run homer and a single in five at-bats to reach 15 home runs this year and now appears only one shy from 100 in his
entire NPB career.

In addition, Viciedo now amounts 66 RBIs, figure that allows him to rank second in that stat in his circuit; and his batting average (BA) increased to .264.

Meanwhile, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks beat 7-5 the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, in the Pacific League, with highlight to Cuban Yurisbel Gracial, who went 2 for 4, with two runs scored, to raise his BA to .279.

His teammate and compatriot, left-handed setup man Livan Moinelo, allowed no hits or runs in 1 1/3 innings, thus improving his ERA to 1.11, thus remainig leader in holds (32) and strikeouts (70) among setuppers in both NPB leagues.

In another match of the day, Cuban Leonys Martin failed in three at-bats to lower his BA to .245, in the 0-1 home loss of his side, the Chiba Lotte Marines, to the Seibu Lions in 10 innings.

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