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Outstanding performance by Cubans Despaigne and Gracial in second game of the 2020 Japan Series

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 23 (ACN) Homeruns by Cubans Alfredo Despaigne and Yurisbel Gracial led the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks to beat 11-2 away the Yomiuri Giants in the second game of the final in the 2020 Japan Series, championship series of the Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) 2020 season.

DH Despaigne batted 1 for 3, the hit was a grand slam, and drove in six runs to tie a Japan Series single-game record with six runs batted in.

The Cuban slugger, who did not homer in a final since Game 4 of the 2018 edition, raised his series batting average (BA) to .286 and his RBIs to six.

Meanwhile, LF Gracial extended his streak of consecutive games batting hits in the Japan Series to nine by going 2 for 3, with a two-run homer, three runs scored and two RBIs to raise his BA to .571.

Catcher Takuya Kai also homered for the winning side, though the Hawks´ best batter in the game was outfielder Ryoya Kurihara, who went 4 for 5 and scored twice to leave his BA at .875 in the final.

Right-hander Shuta Ishikawa earned the win after allowing only four hits, including a two-run homer by American Zelous Wheeler, in 5 1/3 innings.

The Hawks, seeking its third consecutive NPB crown, thus takes a 2-0 lead in the series, which third game will be played on Tuesday, November 24 as home club in the Pay Pay Dome, in Fukuoka.





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