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Baseball: Shimauchi continues to clean up as Rakuten edges Seibu

The Rakuten Eagles' Hiroaki Shimauchi hits a two-run triple in the fourth inning of a Pacific League game against the Seibu Lions on May 12, 2021 at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Hiroaki Shimauchi tied the game with a two-run triple and scored the go-ahead run as the Pacific League-leading Rakuten Eagles came from behind to beat the Seibu Lions 4-3 on Wednesday.

    The Eagles' No. 4 hitter, who drove in all three of the team's runs in Tuesday's 3-3 tie with the Lions, once more played a starring role at Sendai's Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, with the home team scoring all their runs in the fourth inning.

    Seibu took the lead in the top of the inning on Hotaka Yamakawa's two-run home run off Rakuten starter Takahiro Norimoto, but the lead was short-lived.

    With runners on first and second and no outs in the bottom of the frame, Shimauchi lined a triple to right off Seibu starter Zach Neil (0-1) before scoring on a groundout.

    Eigoro Mogi followed with another triple and scored on a Yuya Ogo squeeze.

    "I wanted to avoid hitting into a double-play at the very least," said Shimauchi. "I was glad to get my bat on it...I've been getting quite a lot of at-bats with a chance to drive in runs."

    Norimoto (3-0) surrendered a run in the seventh, but the right-hander earned the win after yielding three runs on six hits and three walks. He fanned 10 in a 121-pitch outing. Sung Chia-hao and closer Yuki Matsui each pitched out of trouble to produce a scoreless inning of relief, with Matsui earning his 10th save.

    Neil worked six innings in his season debut.

    At Tokyo Dome, Wang Po-jung homered and scored two runs off Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-4) to lift the host Nippon Ham Fighters to a 2-1 victory.

    At Fukuoka's PayPay Dome, the Lotte Marines scraped out two ninth-inning runs against tough left-hander Livan Moinelo to seize an 8-8 tie with the SoftBank Hawks.

    At Tokyo's Jingu Stadium, Hiroshima Carp rookie closer Ryoji Kuribayashi struck out three batters in the bottom of the ninth, working around a two-out walk to seal a scoreless tie with the Yakult Swallows and remain unscored upon in his 16 career pro games.

    At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA BayStars closer Kazuki Mishima gave up a game-tying two-run ninth-inning homer to the Yomiuri Giants' Kazuma Okamoto in their 5-5 tie. It was Okamoto's eighth home run.

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