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Walking the walk-off …

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Walking the walk-off …

Akada’s 3rd sayonara hit vs. Rakuten puts Orix in 3rd

Maybe the Rakuten Eagles have learned their lesson after Thursday’s loss.

Defensive replacement Shogo Akada whacked a walk-off single down the line in right as the Orix Buffaloes completed a comeback for a 6-5 win over the Eagles in 10 innings in Kobe.

It was his third walk-off hit this year, and all have come against the Eagles.

“It’s the third [walk-off] this season and when the
chance came, I was licking my lips,” said Akada, who beat the Eagles with sayonara hits on July 5 and Aug. 9.

“They have just happened to come against Rakuten, but more than that, it was good to come through in a big game like this,” said Akada, whose hit lifted the Buffaloes over the Eagles and into third place in the Pacific League.

Rookie Masato Fakae, who started as an instructional squad player, dropped a dunker into left with one out and was sacrificed to set up Akada, who spent 11 season with the Seibu Lions before moving to Orix last year.

“This is the best way possible to get some momentum going, so we want to go to Chiba tomorrow and win some games and come home,” he said after his eighth career walk-off hit.

Mamoru Kishda (5-6) worked a perfect 10th for the win. Hayato Terahara allowed four runs on seven hits over nine innings, but got a no-decision.

Not completely lost in all the walk-off excitement was Mitsutaka Goto, whose RBI single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 26 games, fifth best in PL history.

Goto had four hits and two RBIs, and Lee Seung Yeop’s two-run homer in the sixth inning got the Buffaloes even.

FIGHTERS 2, MARINES 1

Second-year import Bobby Keppel (12-5) tied his career best in wins with seven scoreless innings, and first-year Bobby Scales’ RBI double in the second was the difference as Nippon Ham topped Lotte in a home game at Tokyo Dome, where it has won seven straight
this season.

Keppel scattered four hits and two walks with three Ks, and Hisashi Takeda nailed down his PL-high 33rd save with two Ks in a perfect ninth.

LIONS 5, HAWKS 5

Alex Cabrera’s RBI single in the seventh, his second RBI hit of the game, pulled SoftBank even in an energy-saving-rule tie against Seibu at FYJ Dome.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

SWALLOWS 8, CARP 1

Kazuhiro Hatakeyama’s 20th homered and drove in two [his CL-high 76th and 77th], and Wladimir Balentien had three doubles and three RBIs to lead front-running Yakult past Hiroshima at The Zoom for their ninth straight win.

Hatakeyama’s career year continues -- he hit his fourth homer in as many games, a go-ahead two-run shot in the fourth that gave the Swallows the lead for good.

Shohei Tateyama (10-2), who didn’t allow a hit after the sixth, went the distance as the Swallows went six games over the Dragons.

BAYSTARS 6, GIANTS 5

Second-year player Yoshitomo Tsutsugo came up with his first pro three-hit game and drove in three runs, and Tatsuya Shimozono’s three-run homer in the fifth helped Yokohama hold off visiting Yomiuri.

Tsutsugo clubbed a two-run homer in the third and one of his two doubles also drove in a run.

DRAGONS 3, TIGERS 1

Kazuki Yoshimi (14-3) scattered three hits and a walk over eight innings to win his sixth straight decision as Chunichi topped Hanshin at Koshien Stadium.

Two errors allowed the Dragons to score twice in the fifth, giving Yoshimi the lead as he pulled even in wins in the CL with Tetsuya Utsumi of Yomiuri.

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