Baseball: Mori hits walk-off HR for Orix after Miyagi-Sasaki duel

Tomoya Mori hit a walk-off solo home run to give the Orix Buffaloes a 2-1 win Tuesday over the Lotte Marines after a great pitching duel between World Baseball Classic teammates Hiroya Miyagi and Roki Sasaki.

Mori drove a 2-0 fastball from Marines closer Naoya Masuda (2-1) into the seats in right-center leading off the bottom of the ninth inning at Kyocera Dome Osaka. The Buffaloes moved into the Pacific League lead with their fourth walk-off victory of the season.

The power-hitting catcher's 12th homer came minutes after the Marines' Koki Yamaguchi tied the game at 1 with a two-out RBI single off Yoshihisa Hirano (1-1), who blew the save but earned the win.

Miyagi struck out eight in eight scoreless innings, while Sasaki struck out 10 and allowed one unearned run over seven innings.

"This home run felt better than any other one," Mori said. "I just tried to get on base, but I hit that pitch really hard."

Asked to comment on Miyagi's performance on the mound, Mori said, "He deserves full marks."

In the Central League, the Hiroshima Carp edged the DeNA BayStars 3-2, while the Hanshin Tigers snapped a five-game losing skid and reclaimed first place with an 11-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons.

© Kyodo News