Sports

Yuki Yanagita homers for second day in row as Hawks beat Buffaloes

Yuki Yanagita homered for the second day in a row on Wednesday, delivering the go-ahead run with a seventh inning solo blast as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks held off the Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes 2-1.

A day after lifting the Hawks to a 7-3 win with his grand slam, Yanagita was once again the hero for the home side at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome.

With two out and the score deadlocked 1-1, he sent right-hander Taisuke Kondo’s first pitch, a 151-kilometer-per-hour fastball, high over the left field fence.

Yanagita’s RBI double gave the Hawks the opening run in the bottom of the first. Orix tied it in the second after Keita Nakagawa tripled, then came home on Yuma Tongu’s sacrifice fly.

SoftBank starter Nao Higashihama (3-1) got the win after going seven innings deep, while Kondo (1-1) was charged with the loss.

Yanagita finished 2-for-4 and registered his fourth home run of the season.

Elsewhere in the PL, the Lotte Marines jumped out to a big early lead before weathering a comeback in their 7-5 victory over the Seibu Lions, while the first-place Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles were too strong for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, winning 5-1.

In the Central League, Shugo Maki belted a three-run homer for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, who hammered the Chunichi Dragons 7-1, while the reigning Japan Series champion Tokyo Yakult Swallows blanked the Hanshin Tigers 3-0.

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