Baseball: Okada, Sugimoto power Buffaloes past Lions in 9th

©Kyodo News

Takahiro Okada and Yutaro Sugimoto delivered big hits to propel the Orix Buffaloes to a four-run ninth inning and a 7-6 come-from-behind Pacific League victory over the Seibu Lions on Thursday.

Trailing 6-3 after the Lions' Aito Takeda cleared the bases with a tie-breaking three-run eighth-inning double at Osaka's Kyocera Dome, Orix came back to score four times against Seibu closer Tatsushi Masuda (0-1) in the ninth.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Okada, who had a double and an RBI single in four at-bats, fouled off two 2-2 pitches before hitting the right-field wall near the foul pole to clear the bases with a triple that tied it and put the winning run 90 feet from home.

Sugimoto grounded a 3-2 pitch just past the glove of Golden Glove shortstop Sosuke Genda and into left for the game-winning single, giving the Buffaloes' a series sweep and their first three-game win streak of the season.

With two on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the game nearly ended on a groundout by Adam Jones, but all the runners were ruled safe after a video review, allowing Okada to bat.

Buffaloes manager Satoshi Nakajima used two pitchers in the eighth and took responsibility for the Lions' three-run eighth.

"I was conflicted about the use of my relievers, and that made things worse for us," Nakajima said. "I'm so grateful to the players for bailing me out."

At Chiba's Zozo Marine Stadium, journeyman right-hander Takahide Ikeda (2-2) struck out seven while allowing a run over seven innings for the Nippon Ham Fighters in a 3-1 victory over the Lotte Marines.

At Tokyo Dome, Yuki Takahashi (4-0) allowed three runs over six innings, while four teammates homered as the Yomiuri Giants won their second straight, beating the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers 8-3.

At Yokohama Stadium, Koji Fukutani (1-1) threw eight scoreless innings and earned the win as the Chunichi Dragons beat the last-place DeNA BayStars 1-0 after the only run scored on a two-out, ninth-inning throwing error.

At Hiroshima's Mazda Stadium, Kotaro Yamasaki tripled in two runs in the eighth to break a 4-4 tie in the Yakult Swallows' 7-4 win over the Hiroshima Carp.