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Baseball: Orix take series with 5-1 win over Seibu

Yuki Nishi of the Orix Buffaloes throws against the Seibu Lions at Kyocera Dome on Sept. 2, 2018. (Kyodo)

OSAKA (Kyodo) --The Orix Buffaloes gave starter Yuki Nishi some early run support and beat the Seibu Lions 5-1 on Sunday afternoon, snaring back-to-back wins over the Pacific League leaders.

A day after overcoming a seven-run deficit to run out 10-8 winners, the home side took the initiative from the outset at Kyocera Dome, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first off Lions starter Tatsuya Imai (3-4).

Pitching against the club that has been his biggest professional nemesis, Nishi (8-11) picked up the win for working 6-2/3 innings in which he struck out three and walked one. The veteran right-hander allowed just one run despite giving up eight hits.

Nishi entered the game with 2-9 in his career with a 5.42 ERA against the Lions in 21 games. Not surprisingly, it was just his third start against Seibu since 2016.

"(Catcher Kenya) Wakatsuki called such a great game for me, and then he hit a home run, which took me by surprise," Nishi said. "I try not to pump my fist when people do that, but I did today."

"Rather than pitching my way out of jams, that was the fielders' doing. They made the plays and got it done and allowed me somehow to keep them off the board."

With Yuma Mune and Stefen Romero already on, the Buffaloes loaded the bases when Lions shortstop Sosuke Genda fumbled a ground ball.

The next man up, Hiroyuki Nakajima, drove in Mune on a grounder. Romero also scored when Lions third baseman Takeya Nakamura's throw home for the force on the speedy Mune sailed over catcher Masatoshi Okada.

Wakatsuki doubled the lead in the bottom of the fourth with his first home run of the season, a two-run effort to the opposite field.

The Lions, who wasted golden scoring opportunities in the second, fourth and sixth innings, broke up Buffaloes starter Yuki Nishi's shutout bid in the seventh when Tomoya Mori doubled and scored on Shogo Saito's sacrifice fly.

Mune pushed the lead back to four in the bottom of the inning, doubling and scoring on a line-drive single from Nakajima.

The Buffaloes took the three-game series 3-1 after losing Friday's opener 1-0.

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Hawks 12, Eagles 0

At Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Rick van Den Hurk (9-7) allowed four hits over seven innings and Akira Nakamura hit a three-run, third-inning homer. SoftBank handed Rakuten its eighth straight loss and moved to within four games of first-place Seibu.

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Fighters 3, Marines 2

At Zozo Marine Stadium, Nick Martinez allowed two runs over six innings, Brandon Laird tied it with his eighth-inning RBI single and Haruki Nishikawa had a sacrifice fly and a tie-breaking home run as Nippon Ham came from behind to beat Lotte.

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Central League

Giants 13, Dragons 9

At Nagoya Dome, Yomiuri hammered Daisuke Matsuzaka (5-4) for seven runs over two innings, and Kazuma Okamoto scored four runs and drove in four in a win over Chunichi.

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Carp 7, Swallows 3

At Jingu Stadium, Xavier Batista's 23rd home run, his third in four games, gave league-leading Hiroshima a 3-0 first-inning lead, and he singled in a run in the visitors' four-run third in a one-sided win over Yakult.

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Tigers 12, BayStars 3

At Koshien Stadium, Shunsuke Fujikawa drove in five runs and Hanshin scored five unearned runs off DeNA starter Shota Imanaga (3-9), who took the loss.

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