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Baseball: Hawks veterans lead way past Buffaloes

This photo shows, from left, Seiichi Uchikawa, Tsuyoshi Wada and Yuki Yanagita of the SoftBank Hawks. (Kyodo)

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada worked six innings, Seiichi Uchikawa doubled in two runs, and Yuki Yanagita homered in his second game back from rehab to lead the SoftBank Hawks to a 5-1 come-from-behind Pacific League win over the Orix Buffaloes on Thursday.

Wada (4-2) allowed a run in the first inning at Yafuoku Dome after a leadoff triple by Buffaloes captain Shuhei Fukuda but finished with four strikeouts, two hits and two walks to earn the win.

After popping up to end the third inning with two on, Uchikawa's fifth-inning double put the Hawks in front, and he scored on a Yurisbel Gracial double. Yanagita, who returned to duty on Wednesday for the first time since hurting his knee in April, homered in the seventh.

Yanagita, normally a middle-of-the-order hitter, is being eased back into action in the No. 2 spot in the Hawks' batting order. He walked twice in front of Uchikawa and the second time was the charm against Taiwan rookie Chang Yi (2-1).

"I didn't hit the time before with someone on, so I wanted to do something," Uchikawa said. "I think this is normal if one bats behind Yanagita, and I'm glad I could get a result. Considering the condition of Yanagita's legs, a home run would have been better, since it would have allowed him to walk home, but he still scored from first. So I'm grateful to him for that."

The 25-year-old Chang, who returned to pitching last season for the first time since he played in high school, walked four and gave up four hits. He surrendered three runs in 4-2/3 innings to take the loss.

Elsewhere in the PL, Ryo Watanabe and Kotaro Kiyomiya both hit two-run homers to lead the Nippon Ham Fighters to a 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Seibu Lions at MetLife Dome.

At Tokyo Dome, Hiroaki Shimauchi capped a four-run 10th inning with a three-run home run for the Rakuten Eagles in an 8-5 win over the Lotte Marines.

In the Central League, Yohei Oshima scored three runs and Dayan Viciedo had three hits and a two-run homer to power the Chunichi Dragons past the Yomiuri Giants 7-4 at Nagoya Dome.

At Mazda Stadium, rain cut short the Hiroshima Carp's comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning, handing the Yakult Swallows an 8-4 win.

At Kyocera Dome, Hanshin's Atsushi Mochizuki (1-0) pitched six innings to earn his first career win, and three Tigers relievers completed the three-hit shutout, an 8-0 win over the DeNA BayStars.

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