HAVANA, Cuba, May 16 (acn) Cuban Alfredo Despaigne hit two home runs and drove in three runs, but he could not avoid the 4-5 loss of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks to the Saitama Seibu Lions, in the Pacific League of the Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB).
As home-club at the Fukuoka Yafuoku Dome, the Cuban slugger managed to send the ball twice over the fences for the first time in the current season, as sign of his daily batting improvement.
Despaigne hit 2 for 4 to raise his batting average to .259 and his home runs and RBIs to 10 and 23, respectively.
His countrymen and teammates Yurisbel Gracial batted 1 for 2 to raise his BA to .359, while lefty setuper Livan Moinelo managed to get out the three batters he faced, thus reducing his ERA to 0.53.
After 40 games, the Hawks have record of 21 wins, 17 losses and 2 draws, to lead the Pacific League, but their advantage has been reduced to only 1.5 games over their closest pursuers: the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.