Baseball: Rookie Yamashita, new import Gonzalez lead Orix over Seibu

Highly touted rookie Shumpeita Yamashita threw seven shutout innings and Marwin Gonzalez backed him with a two-run home run as the Orix Buffaloes beat the Seibu Lions 4-1 Sunday in the Pacific League.

Yamashita (2-0), Orix's first-round pick in the 2020 draft who made his top-team debut this year on Opening Day, struck out eight and allowed just three hits and three walks at Kyocera Dome Osaka.

The 20-year-old right-hander worked out of two-on jams in the second and fourth innings.

"I'm glad I managed to escape jams and hold them scoreless," Yamashita said. "I'm receiving run support. Things have gone well with me so far in the season."

Gonzalez broke a scoreless tie in the sixth when he drove a 1-0 pitch from Dietrich Enns (1-3) into the left-field seats.

The reigning Japan Series champion Buffaloes added two more runs in the inning as Yutaro Sugimoto followed Tomoya Mori's bases-loaded walk with an RBI single.

"I wasn't trying to hit a homer. I was just trying to get a hit," Gonzalez said. "It was a great game. Defensively, pitching-wise, he (Yamashita) was amazing today. We put some runs on the scoreboard for him."

In other PL action, Ryosuke Tatsumi's 11th-inning walk-off double lifted the Rakuten Eagles 4-3 over the Nippon Ham Fighters. The Lotte Marines completed a three-game sweep of the SoftBank Hawks with a 6-2 win.

In the Central League, the Chunichi Dragons edged the Hanshin Tigers 2-1, and the DeNA BayStars beat the Hiroshima Carp 4-3.

© Kyodo News