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Baseball: Tajima, Sugimoto help Buffaloes snap skid

Daiki Tajima of the Orix Buffaloes pitches during a Pacific League game against the Rakuten Eagles on Sept. 16, 2021, at Rakuten Seimei Park in Sendai. (Kyodo)

SENDAI (Kyodo) -- Lefty Daiki Tajima worked eight innings, and Yutaro Sugimoto broke a 1-1 with his Pacific League-leading 27th home run as the second-place Orix Buffaloes beat the third-place Rakuten Eagles on Thursday.

    The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Buffaloes and moved them to within 3-1/2 games of the first-place Lotte Marines.

    Tajima (6-7) allowed a walk and four hits while striking out six. He surrendered the lead in the first inning, and pitched out of a tight spot in the second before cruising the rest of the way.

    "I'd hoped to go the distance, but I was able to hang in there when things got tough, and I'm happy we could get the win," Tajima said.

    Sugimoto, who reached base four times, reached base on an error to open the fourth, stole second, went to third on a throwing error and scored the tying run on a groundout.

    Rakuten's third pitcher, Tomohiro Anraku (3-2), allowed a leadoff single in the eighth and surrendered Sugimoto's tie-breaking home run. Buffaloes closer Yoshihisa Hirano worked the ninth to earn his 18th save.

    Eagles starting pitcher Takahiro Norimoto allowed an unearned run over six innings and did not figure in the decision.

    At PayPay Dome, Hisanori Yasuda's seventh-inning pinch-hit brought the Marines from a run down in a 1-1 tie with the fourth-place SoftBank Hawks.

    At MetLife Dome, Naoyuki Uwasawa (9-6) allowed a run over eight innings in the Nippon Ham Fighters' 3-1 win over the Seibu Lions.

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