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Baseball: Lions' Yamakawa knocks out Fighters

Hotaka Yamakawa blasts a two-run first-inning home run, the first of his two in the Seibu Lions' 5-1 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters at Saitama Prefecture's Belluna Dome on May 8, 2022. (Kyodo)

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama (Kyodo) -- Hotaka Yamakawa hit a pair of early home runs, his Japan-leading 13th and 14th, to drive in five runs and power the Seibu Lions to a 5-1 Pacific League win over the Nippon Ham Fighters on Sunday.

    At Saitama Prefecture's Belluna Dome outside Tokyo, Yamakawa belted a two-run homer in the first off Toshihiro Sugiura (1-3) in the first. The 2018 PL MVP hit a three-run shot in the third to chase the Fighters' starting pitcher.

    First-year Lions lefty Dietrich Enns (2-1) allowed one run on three hits over six innings. He struck out four without issuing a walk.

    Another first-year import, Seibu's Brian O'Grady, drew a walk before each of Yamakawa's home runs and doubled.

    Elsewhere in the PL, the SoftBank Hawks clobbered the Lotte Marines 8-4 for their sixth straight win, while the PL-leading Rakuten Eagles won their 10th consecutive decision, beating the Orix Buffaloes 2-1 in 10 innings.

    In the Central League, the Yakult Swallows handed rookie relief sensation Taisei Ota (1-1) his first loss, coming from behind in the ninth to beat the Yomiuri Giants 4-3, while the Hiroshima Carp pounded the DeNA BayStars 17-3 and the Hanshin Tigers beat the Chunichi Dragons 4-3.

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