Baseball: Yamamoto takes 8th win as Buffaloes extend lead in PL


Yoshinobu Yamamoto allows two runs over seven innings to claim his eighth win when Orix Buffaloes, leader of the Pacific League, beat the Seibu Lions 5-3 on July 2, 2021 at the MetLife Dome outside Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – Japanese Olympic team member Yoshinobu Yamamoto allowed two runs over seven innings to score a 5-3 win over the Seibu Lions on Friday for Pacific League leaders Orix Buffaloes.

Yamamoto (8-5), who skipped seven, went two and allowed five hits, moved with rookie team-mate Hiroya Miyagi for the championship lead in victories. Orix’s win increased their PL lead to two games over the idle Rakuten Eagles.

The right-hander went up the hill in the MetLife Dome with a lead of two runs at the end of the first race after cleanup hitter Yutaro Sugimoto opened the classification in the first with a double home run, his 18th. Sugimoto went 3 for 4 and drove in four runs.

Yamamoto didn’t allow a hit until the Buffaloes added two more runs in the third. Sosuke Genda doubled up to open third place for Lions and scored a goal with a sacrificial flight.

“Working with an early lead made my job a lot easier,” said Yamamoto. “I have to think about what it was like to allow them a runback after our goal. But overall I’m happy that I was able to hand the game over to our bullpen with a margin.”

Tyler Higgins took a goalless eighth place, and former big league player Yoshihisa Hirano battled it out for a solo homer from Brandon Taiga Tysinger in game nine to score his tenth save.

In the Mazda Stadium in Hiroshima, Seiya Suzuki opened the Hiroshima Carp’s second inning in seven runs with a solo homer and crowned it with a three-run double in a 7-1 win over the Hanshin Tigers, their lead in the Central League on 1-1 / 2 games over the idle Yomiuri Giants.

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, former Major League player Norichika Aoki doubled, scored twice and drove in three runs to help the Yakult Swallows to a 9-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons.

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