Rhodes’ homer lifts Buffaloes in 11th


Tuffy Rhodes hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Orix Buffaloes a “sayonara,” 7-5 victory Friday over the Softbank Hawks.

News photoChunichi Dragons hurler Kenshin Kawakami fires a pitch against the Giants on Friday. Yomiuri won 6-5.

Rhodes connected off Softbank closer Takahiro Mahara (1-2) for his league-leading 37th homer after Greg LaRocca hit a one-out single, helping the Orix to its third win in a row.

Shogo Yamamoto (1-0) worked the 11th for the win.

Softbank rallied with a five-run eighth inning, highlighted by a bases-clearing double by Yuichi Honda, after backup catcher Daisuke Maeda drove home three runs with a two-run homer and an RBI single to help the Buffaloes build a 5-0 lead through seven.

Eagles 7, Marines 6

At Fullcast Stadium, Daisuke Kusano drove in the winning run with a ninth-inning single as Tohoku Rakuten rallied to beat Chiba Lotte.

Kusano lined a 3-2 pitch from Yasuhiko Yabuta (1-5) to right field after Rick Short drew a one-out walk and Jose Fernandez singled to center to put runners on the corners in the bottom of the ninth.


Giants 6, Dragons 5

At Nagoya Dome, Yoshitomo Tani and Yoshinobu Takahashi drove in two runs apiece as Yomiuri held off second-place Chunichi to extend its Central League lead to four games.

Tetsuya Utsumi (10-5) allowed four runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings while Koji Uehara closed out the ninth to pick up his 21st save. Kawakami was charged with five unearned runs in five innings.

Carp 7, Swallows 3

At Hiroshima Stadium, Eishin Soyogi hit a pair of solo homers among his four hits as Hiroshima sent Yakult to its seventh loss in eight games.

Tigers 8, BayStars 6