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Okada, Yamamoto lift Buffaloes over Giants

Kyodo News

Takahiro Okada homered and drove in four runs, Shogo Yamamoto threw 6 1/3 effective innings and the Orix Buffaloes beat the Yomiuri Giants 7-3 on Sunday.

Okada opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first inning and hit a three-run home run that pushed Orix’s lead to 6-0 in the second in interleague play at Tokyo Dome.

“My teammates got on base to set up a chance for me in the first inning. I just wanted to follow suit,” said the 22-year-old Okada, who hit cleanup for the first time in his professional career.

“In a similar situation in the second, I tried to go aggressive and looked for a pitch to hit. I didn’t expect I could produce results like this after resting the past 10 days (with a sprained left ankle).”

Yamamoto (3-2) won for the first time since April 28, allowing just one run, on a sixth-inning home run by Alex Ramirez, and seven hits. The left-hander struck out five and walked none.

Tomotaka Sakaguchi went 3-for-3 with a solo home run in the ninth for Orix, which has won three straight.

Kentaro Nishimura (3-2) took the loss. Hayato Sakamoto hit a two-run homer in the ninth among his three hits.

Michihiro Ogasawara left the game after being hit in the right hand by a Yamamoto pitch in the third.

Eagles 8, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven solid innings and Takeshi Yamasaki hit a pair of solo homers, leading Tohoku Rakuten over Chunichi.

Marines at Tigers — ppd.

Lions at Carp — ppd.

Hawks at BayStars — ppd.

Fighters at Swallows — ppd.