SAPPORO – Yoshinobu Yamamoto tossed seven solid innings as the Orix Buffaloes recorded a 2-1 victory over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on Thursday.
Yamamoto (2-1) fanned six and did not allow a run until yielding back-to-back doubles in the seventh at Sapporo Dome.
“I gave up a run, but we were still up by one. One way or another I thought we needed to keep the lead,” said Yamamoto, who picked up his first win in nearly a month.
“I want to use this victory as motivation to start piling up the wins.”
Koji Oshiro put Orix on the board with a two-run blast in the third off Fighters lefty Takayuki Kato.
Kato (1-3) exited after three innings, giving up four hits and striking out three without issuing a walk. Bryan Rodriguez took over until the sixth, when he was sent off for drilling pinch hitter Shuhei Fukuda in the head.
Taishi Ota and Kensuke Kondo both doubled to left center in the seventh to pull the Fighters within a run, but the home team struggled the rest of the game to get a hit and came out on the losing end after both clubs’ bullpens held the score. Hirotoshi Masui got his ninth save for a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Buffaloes snapped a four-game losing streak but remain at the bottom of the Pacific League standings with 12 wins and 19 losses. The Fighters fell to 16-16 into a tie for third.
Eagles 4, Hawks 3
At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Tohoku Rakuten earned a walk-off win against Fukuoka SoftBank for the second straight night as Ginji Akaminai delivered a game-winning single off rookie Hiroshi Kaino to end it.
Jabari Blash homered for the third consecutive game to tie it in the second, while Naoto Watanabe’s pinch-hit solo home run tied it again in the eighth.
Kaino (1-1) was tagged with the first loss of his pro career.
Marines 5, Lions 4 (10)
At Saitama’s Omiya Park Baseball Stadium, pinch hitter Takuya Takahama broke a 10th-inning tie with a double off Kyle Martin (0-2) as Chiba Lotte edged Seibu.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5