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Baseball: Adachi leads Buffaloes over Hawks

Ryoichi Adachi of the Orix Buffaloes (Kyodo)

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Ryoichi Adachi went 3-for-4 with four RBIs on Wednesday as the Orix Buffaloes came from behind to beat Pacific League-leading SoftBank Hawks 14-4.

In front of a sold-out crowd at Yafuoku Dome, Adachi tied the game at 4-4 with a two-run, sixth-inning double against Hawks reliever Ryoma Matsuda (2-3) and then scored the go-ahead run on a single by Kenya Wakatsuki.

"Our team is picking up the momentum. But we still have games left so we need to keep gunning," Adachi said.

While the Hawks opened with a three-run first inning, Adachi had RBI singles in each of his first two at-bats, helping the visitors to their fifth straight win.

Buffaloes starter Daiki Tajima allowed four runs over four innings, but five relievers combined to keep the hard-hitting Hawks scoreless the rest of the way. Right-hander Kazumasa Yoshida (1-1) picked up the win for pitching the fifth inning.

The visitors' lineup picked up their momentum later in the game with Yuya Oda capping the visitors' four-run seventh with a two-out, three-run homer. Stefen Romero and Steven Moya each drove in two runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Romero and Moya reached base nine times between them and scored four runs each.

Yuki Yanagita, returning from a knee injury he suffered on April 7, singled in his first at-bat in four months and scored the Hawks' opening run on Seiichi Uchikawa's two-run homer.

But Yanagita, last year's Pacific League batting champ and a four-time Best Nine selection, flied out and grounded out in his other at-bats.

Elsewhere in the PL, Takahiro Norimoto (3-3) allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings, while Yuki Matsui reached 30 saves for the fourth season in the Rakuten Eagles' 3-1 win over the Lotte Marines.

At MetLife Dome, Hotaka Yamakawa broke a 1-1, second-inning tie with his 36th home run, and belted a two-run shot in the fifth as the Seibu Lions beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 11-6.

In the Central League, Jefry Marte drove in two RBIs and Takumi Akiyama (4-3) pitched five solid innings in the Hanshin Tigers' 3-1 win over the DeNA BayStars at Kyocera Dome.

At Nagoya Dome, Tomoyuki Sugano (10-5) allowed a run over seven innings, and Yoshihiro Maru scored three runs as the Yomiuri Giants beat the Chunichi Dragons 5-2.

At Mazda Stadium, Tomohiro Abe hit a tie-breaking solo homer in the eighth in the Hiroshima Carp's 5-4 win over the Yakult Swallows. Right-hander Atsushi Endo (1-0) picked up his first professional win after pitching a scoreless eighth.

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