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Matsui drops ‘sayonara’ bomb as Lions ride BlueWave

Kazuo Matsui became the seventh Japanese professional baseball player to belt a “sayonara” home run for the second straight game, leading the Seibu Lions to a 4-2 victory over the Orix BlueWave Saturday at the Seibu Dome.

Central League
WonLostTiedPct.GBHanshin 20 12 1 .625 -Yomiuri 21 13 0 .618 0.0Yakult 18 15 0 .545 2.5Hiroshima 14 15 1 .483 4.5Chunichi 15 17 1 .469 5.0Yokohama 7 23 1 .233 12.0Pacific League
WonLostTiedPct.GBSeibu 20 11 1 .645 -Daiei 20 12 1 .625 0.5Nippon Ham 18 16 0 .529 3.5Kintetsu 14 17 1 .452 6.0Orix 14 18 0 .438 6.5Lotte 9 21 1 .300 10.5

With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the 10th inning, Matsui drilled a two-run homer off Orix reliever Fumiaki Imamura to finish the game. Matsui hit a game-ending roundtripper on Friday night.

Seibu reliever Shinji Mori (2-2) took the mound with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the 10th inning and escaped the jam with a back-to-back strikeouts to earn the win. Fighters 9, Buffaloes 7

Makoto Kaneko went 4-for-6 and three RBIs while Michihiro Ogasawara hit a two-run homer as Nippon Ham escaped from Kintetsu’s late comeback at the Osaka Dome.

The Fighters took a 7-0 lead by the third inning, but the Buffaloes, helped by a pair of two-run clouts by Tuffy Rhodes, trailed to 7-6 later in the game.

In the eighth inning, however, the Fighters scored two decisive runs on RBI singles by Yukio Tanaka and Sherman Obando to hold on for the win.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Dragons 8, BayStars 2

Kenta Asakura (4-1) scattered six hits over the distance to pace Chunichi over Yokohama at Yokohama Stadium.

Hirokazu Ibata went 3-for-4 while Koichi Sekikawa drove in three runs for the Dragons.

The slumping BayStars lost the sixth consecutive game.

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