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Baseball: Rookie Masaru Fujii paves way for Eagles comeback against Hawks

Takero Okajima of the Rakuten Eagles hits a single in the sixth inning of a Pacific League game against the SoftBank Hawks at PayPay Dome in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, on Aug. 7, 2022. (Kyodo)

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Rookie Masaru Fujii pitched out of a no-out bases loaded jam, allowing the Rakuten Eagles to come from behind in a 7-2 Pacific League win over veteran Tsuyoshi Wada and the SoftBank Hawks on Sunday.

    Fujii allowed an unearned run over four innings and did not figure in the decision. After a single, an error and back-to-back fourth-inning walks put SoftBank ahead 1-0 at PayPay Dome, Fujii slammed the door.

    Wada (3-3) cruised through the first five innings, allowing four singles but no walks before the wheels suddenly fell off in the sixth.

    Haruki Nishioka sparked the winning three-run rally by adjusting well to a 3-2 slider from Wada and hitting it off the fence in right for a leadoff double.

    Wada compounded his trouble by allowing the batter to reach on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and walking the bases loaded. Hiroaki Shimauchi put the Eagles in front by drilling a fastball to the fence in left for a two-run double that chased Wada.

    Takero Okajima followed with a single for the first of five runs he would drive in as the visitors turned the game into a rout.

    Elsewhere in the PL, the last-place Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Orix Buffaloes 5-3, while the league-leading Seibu Lions whipped the Lotte Marines 10-4.

    In the Central League, the last-place Chunichi Dragons beat the DeNA BayStars 5-0, the Yomiuri Giants completed a three-game sweep of the league-leading Yakult Swallows 7-4, and the Hanshin Tigers beat the Hiroshima Carp 7-5.

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