TOKYO (Kyodo) – Naoyuki Uwasawa tossed seven innings of a one-run ball and Haruki Nishikawa went 2-for-4 with two RBIs as the Nippon Ham Fighters beat leading Pacific League Orix Buffaloes 3-2 on Wednesday to snatch their victory Stroke at eight.
Uwasawa (11: 7) hit five and allowed three hits, so that he gave up his only run after a Kotaro Kurebayashi double in the closing stages of the first at Kyocera Dome Osaka.
“I really wanted this win today. The team got together and did it. I’m really happy,” said Uwasawa.
Nishikawa’s RBIs included a double in the third inning that knotted the game 1-1 and a sacrificial fly that put the Fighters 2-1 ahead in the seventh.
The Buffaloes rookie starter Soichiro Yamazaki was knocked out early after jamming in the fourth inning, but the bullpen held the line until the Fighters jumped to seventh place on reliever Tomoyuki Kaida (0-1).
Left-handed Yushi Shimizu left with an out and left a single with Daiki Asama, which put the runners in first and third place. Nishikawa drove Kaida’s 2-2 cutter deep into the center and helped Shimizu hit the throw on the plate.
Next, Yuki Nomura struck in the middle before Kensuke Kondo hemmed an RBI single to the right, chasing Qaeda, and giving the fighters a two-run lead.
Yuma Mune cut the gap in eighth with an RBI single before Nippon Ham rescuer Bryan Rodriguez brushed Kurebayashi to end the inning and strand the tie runner.
The result leaves Orix only half a game ahead of Lotte Marines, who defeated the Seibu Lions 4-2 with home runs by Takashi Ogino and Leonys Martin at the Zozo Marine Stadium.
At the PayPay Dome, Takero Okajima drove two runs and Ryota Takinaka took the win when the Rakuten Eagles beat the SoftBank Hawks 5-0.
In the Central League, starter Cy Sneed (5-2) beat seven over five innings for the first-placed Yakult Swallows, who defeated the Yomiuri Giants 3-0 at Jingu Stadium.
In the Vantelin Dome Nagoya Ryosuke Kikuchi went with three RBIs for the Hiroshima carp in a 7-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons 2: 3 with three RBIs.
At Yokohama Stadium, Mel Rojas Jr. shot a two-run homer in the fourth inning of the Hanshin Tigers’ 2-0 win over DeNA BayStars.