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Baseball: Uwasawa, Nishikawa on song as Fighters stun Buffaloes

Naoyuki Uwasawa of the Nippon Ham Fighters pitches against the Orix Buffaloes in their Pacific League game at Kyocera Dome Osaka on Oct. 6, 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Naoyuki Uwasawa threw seven innings of one-run ball and Haruki Nishikawa went 2-for-4 with two RBIs as the Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Pacific League-leading Orix Buffaloes 3-2 on Wednesday, snapping their win streak at eight.

    Uwasawa (11-7) struck out five and allowed three hits, giving up his only run on a Kotaro Kurebayashi double in the bottom of the first at Kyocera Dome Osaka.

    "I really wanted this win today. The team pulled together as one and got it done. I'm really happy," Uwasawa said.

    Nishikawa's RBIs included a third-inning double that knotted the game at 1-1 and a sacrifice fly that put the Fighters up 2-1 in the seventh.

    The Buffaloes' rookie starter Soichiro Yamazaki exited early after getting into a fourth-inning jam, but the bullpen held the line until the Fighters jumped on reliever Tomoyuki Kaida (0-1) in the seventh.

    With one out, the lefty walked Yushi Shimizu and allowed a single to Daiki Asama, putting runners on first and third. Nishikawa drove Kaida's 2-2 cutter deep to center, helping Shimizu to beat the throw to the plate.

    Next batter Yuki Nomura singled to center before Kensuke Kondo lined an RBI single to right, chasing Kaida and giving the Fighters a two-run lead.

    Yuma Mune cut the deficit in the eighth with an RBI single before Nippon Ham reliever Bryan Rodriguez struck out Kurebayashi to end the inning and strand the tying runner.

    The result leaves Orix with only a half-game lead over the Lotte Marines, who beat the Seibu Lions 4-2 with home runs from Takashi Ogino and Leonys Martin at Zozo Marine Stadium.

    At PayPay Dome, Takero Okajima drove in two runs and Ryota Takinaka got the win as the Rakuten Eagles beat the SoftBank Hawks 5-0.

    In the Central League, starter Cy Sneed (5-2) struck out seven over five innings for the first-place Yakult Swallows, who defeated the Yomiuri Giants 3-0 at Jingu Stadium.

    At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Ryosuke Kikuchi went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Hiroshima Carp in a 7-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons.

    At Yokohama Stadium, Mel Rojas Jr. blasted a two-run homer in the fourth inning of the Hanshin Tigers' 2-0 victory over the DeNA BayStars.

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