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January Wednesday

Cuban Despaigne amounts 34 homers in Japanese Professional Baseball

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 16 (acn) Cuban Alfredo Despaigne blasted his 34th homer of the season but could not prevent the 5-7 loss of his team, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham-Fighters in the continuation of the Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB).

DH Despaigne hit a 2-run homer and batted 2 for 4, with two RBIs and a walk, thus raising his batting average (BA) to .269 and his RBI total to 83.
Two other Cubans, LF Yurisbel Gracial and lefty setupper Livan Moinello, were also involved in the game for the Hawks.
Gracial batted 1 for 2 with a driven in run and rose his BA to .319, while Moinello managed to pitch 1.1 scoreless inning, decreasing his ERA to 1.51.
After this outcome, the Hawks appear second in the standings of the NPB Pacific League with balance of 72 wins, 57 losses and 4 draws, one game behind the Saitama Seibu Lions (75-58-1) and 7.5 over the Chiba Lotte Marines (66-66-4).
The top three teams in each league proceed to the Climax Series, NPB's postseason system.
The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, squad which includes the also Cuban Oscar Colas, are the current NPB champions.

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