Baseball: Kurihara powers Hawks to 4th straight win

Ryoya Kurihara homered and drove in three runs as the SoftBank Hawks beat the 2022 Japan Series champion Orix Buffaloes 6-1 Tuesday to extend their season-opening winning streak to four games.

Two-run homers by Kensuke Kondo, who was a key member of Japan's World Baseball Classic-winning team, and Kurihara gave the Hawks a 4-0 lead in the sixth inning at Kyocera Dome Osaka. Kurihara later added an RBI single in the eighth to go with his third home run of the season.

Shuta Ishikawa (1-0) threw seven scoreless innings, striking out seven and walking none.

"I made a good start to the season," Ishikawa said. "I raised my gear late in the fifth inning. It was good to get a win for our manager."

Hawks manager Hiroshi Fujimoto was absent due to the death of his father, with head coach Hiroyuki Mori working as a fill-in. Buffaloes starter Daiki Tajima (0-1) took the loss.

Earlier in the Pacific League, the Seibu Lions shut out the Rakuten Eagles 4-0.

The Central League champion Yakult Swallows edged the Chunichi Dragons 1-0 to stretch their winning streak to four.

© Kyodo News