Yuji Yoshioka belted a three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning Sunday as the Kintetsu Buffaloes crushed the Daiei Hawks 10-4 to prevent the Pacific League leaders from clinching the pennant.
Yoshioka drilled a towering blast into the left field stands at the Fukuoka Dome to give the Buffaloes a comfortable seven-run lead and send the Hawks to their third straight loss.
The Hawks will have to wait until Tuesday for a chance to wrap up their first pennant since 2000 when they travel to Chiba to play the Lotte Marines.
Lions 4, Fighters 3
At Tokyo Dome, Scott McClain, formerly of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, belted a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning off starter Carlos Mirabal to tie the game as Seibu rallied for a win over the Fighters to keep their slim pennant hopes alive.
Marines 12, BlueWave 5
At Chiba Marine Stadium, Kazuya Fukuura had five RBIs on 5-for-6 hitting, including a three-run homer and a solo shot, and Makoto Kosaka and Saburo Omura chipped in three runs each as Lotte matched a season-high with 19 hits en route to a victory over Orix.
The defeat saw Orix rewrite a humiliating, 53-year-old, single-season Japanese record with the most runs scored against one team when its season total added up to 882 with its 12 runs conceded.
Swallows 8, BayStars 2
At Yokohama Stadium, Alex Ramirez hit homers in back-to-back at-bats and Ken Suzuki hit his 20th homer of the season for the first time in five years in Yakult’s win over Yokohama.
Tyrone Woods connected for his 37th and 38th homers to claim sole possession of the lead in the CL home run derby.
Giants 5, Carp 3
At Hiroshima Stadium, Takayuki Saito hit a three-run homer to tie the game in the ninth inning, Akira Eto followed with a run-scoring single as Yomiuri came from behind to beat Hiroshima.
Ihara steps down
Haruki Ihara said Sunday he told the club’s general manager of his wish to step down as the Seibu Lions manager after this season despite being asked to remain for a third year.
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