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Baseball: Kazuma Okamoto homers, drives in 5 as Giants get past Buffaloes

Kazuma Okamoto of the Yomiuri Giants hits a home run in the first inning of a game against the Orix Buffaloes on May 25, 2022, at Tokyo Dome. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Kazuma Okamoto homered for the second straight night and drove in five runs as the Central League's Yomiuri Giants improved to 2-0 in interleague play with a 5-3 win over the defending Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes on Wednesday.

    Okamoto, the Giants' cleanup hitter, overturned a two-run first-inning deficit at Tokyo Dome with his 14th home run, off new Buffaloes import Jacob Waguespack.

    "I was behind in the count and I wanted to be out in front, and it worked out because I got a home run out of it," Okamoto said.

    With the game tied 3-3 in the eighth, Yoshihiro Maru and Adam Walker, who singled and scored in the first, reached again in the eighth off setup man Jesse Biddle (3-3) and set the table for Okamoto's two-run single.

    "I was fortunate to have runners on base when I came up to the plate," said Okamoto, who hammered a fat pitch from Biddle into left center. "Those guys kept setting the table for me, and I wanted hold up my end."

    Giants rookie Taisei Ota worked a scoreless ninth to earn his 18th save.

    The Giants joined the CL's other two top-three teams in the win column. The league-leading Yakult Swallows beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 7-6, winning for the second straight night on a sayonara home run, while the third-place Hiroshima Carp were winners on Wednesday as they beat the Lotte Marines 5-2.

    Elsewhere, the PL's top-three teams were also winners, the league-leading Rakuten Eagles thumping the Hanshin Tigers 6-1, the second-place SoftBank Hawks whipping the DeNA BayStars 8-2, and Seibu Lions beating the Chunichi Dragons 2-1.do) --

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