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Baseball: Taisuke Yamaoka pitches Buffaloes to 4th straight win

The Orix Buffaloes' Taisuke Yamaoka pitches against the Seibu Lions during a Pacific League game at Belluna Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, on May 26, 2023.(Kyodo)

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama (Kyodo) -- Taisuke Yamaoka threw six innings of one-run ball as the Orix Buffaloes beat the Seibu Lions 4-1 for their fourth straight win in the Pacific League on Friday.

    Orix led for good following Yutaro Sugimoto's solo home run and a two-run shot from Kotaro Kurebayashi in the third inning at Belluna Dome, where Yamaoka (1-0) retired the first 11 batters he faced.

    The right-hander struck out four while giving up three hits and no walks in an 89-pitch effort as he earned his first win since last July.

    Sugimoto scored the Buffaloes fourth run in the top of the fifth after doubling to left off Lions starter Wataru Matsumoto (2-4), reaching third on a sacrifice bunt and coming home on an error by returning infielder Sosuke Genda.

    Genda, who helped Japan win the World Baseball Classic in March despite fracturing his right little finger during the tournament, singled to left off Yamaoka to plate the Lions' only run in the sixth as he went 1-for-4 on his comeback.

    The Rakuten Eagles came from behind to beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 4-3 in the other PL game after Hideto Asamura turned the game around with a two-run homer in the eighth.

    In the Central League, the Hanshin Tigers edged the Yomiuri Giants 2-1 for their sixth straight win. The Chunichi Dragons saw off the DeNA BayStars 1-0, and the Hiroshima Carp beat the Yakult Swallows 6-4.

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