• Kyodo


Kenji Otonari returned to the mound at Yafuoku Dome for the first time in over a year on Sunday, and pitched better than ever as the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks beat the Orix Buffaloes 3-2 to complete a three-game sweep in a battle between Pacific League leaders.

Otonari (1-0), who had season-ending surgery in June 2013 for ossification of the yellow ligament, was starting for the first time since May 31, 2013. He allowed a run on three hits and two walks in seven innings, while striking out five. After giving up a first-inning run, the 29-year-old lefty held Orix to just two singles over the next six innings.

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