Seiichiro Oshita saves the day as Buffaloes reclaim first place

The emergency call Seiichiro Oshita came to the rescue as the Orix Buffaloes regrouped from a late deficit to beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 4-3 on Tuesday and replace them as Pacific League leader. .

Two days after surrendering first place to the Marines, Orix was without Adam Jones, who was retired due to vaccine side effects. The Buffaloes have replaced him on the active roster with Oshita, who has spent most of this season on the ranch.

Down 3-1 at Hotto Motto Field Kobe, Oshita led the eighth round with a home-scoring header. A double by Torai Fushimi to save Lotte’s Chihaya Sasaki and a two-time miss from a short slip by Adeiny Hechavarria allowed the scoring.

Former leaper Yoshihisa Hirano (1-3) retreated to the center of the Lotte lineup in ninth place. In the first half, the Marines did not turn to Japan to save leader Naoya Masuda but to top laner Yasuhiro Tanaka (1-1), who conceded a goal.

Orix loads bases on one walk and two hits, putting Oshita on the plate with one hit and a chance to win it. With Lotte’s outfield shallow to prevent a sacrificial fly ending it, Oshita drove a throw that was beyond the reach of the center console for an RBI single.

“I am as happy as I can be,” Oshita said. “I went to the discus because I thought I needed to hit a big shot so I did the best spin I could with the ball.”

“I’ve been thinking all year (in a minor) how I can make an impact. To be able to do that is the best thing. I thought I might have a chance in a big situation and I was prepared for that.”

The rally kept rookie Hiroya Miyagi out of the game after he surrendered three times in five innings. Leonys Martin did most of the damage to the Marines with a brace in the first two innings.

The Buffaloes threatened in the fifth and seventh innings but were unable to score. With not much time left, the manager Satoshi Nakajima turned to Oshita, who provided the same heroic characters in 2020 when he was promoted from the farm team.

“Great. When we needed a spark, he provided it,” Nakajima said of Oshita.

The win gives Orix an all-round lead over Lotte with third-placed Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles by another 2½ games and Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in fourth, the defending champions, 1½ games behind Rakuten.

At Sapporo Dome, Japanese Olympian Hiromi Ito (9-5) competed seven innings to win a rookie matchup against Rakuten’s Takahisa Hayakawa (7-5) in Hokkaido Nippon’s 4-2 victory. Ham Fighters.

At MetLife Dome, Sosuke Genda’s two eighth innings sent the Seibu Lions from behind in a 6-5 win over SoftBank.

At Koshien Stadium, Tokyo Yakult Swallows rookie Yasunobu Okugawa (6-3) beat eight while letting twice on target in seven innings in a 12-0 win over Central League leaders Hanshin Tigers.

At Yokohama Stadium, the Yokohama DeNA BayStars came in from behind against the Yomiuri Giants, beating their ace, Tomoyuki Sugano (3-6), in seven runs in an 8-2 win. The loss caused Yomiuri to lose 1/2 game to Hanshin and one game to Yakult.

At Mazda Stadium, Seiya Suzuki went deep for the fourth straight game, surging through the 23rd and 24th laps at home, in Hiroshima Carp’s 8-7 win over the Chunichi Dragons.

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