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Pacific League-leading Lions defeat Marines

Kyodo

Hideaki Wakui pitched seven sharp innings and Hisashi Takayama drove in three runs to back up the Seibu ace as the Pacific League-leading Lions beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 4-2 on Saturday afternoon.

Wakui (14-7) held Lotte to one run and three hits — all in the first two innings — for his first win in four starts. The right-hander struck out five and walked one at Seibu Dome.

Takayama had a two-run double and an RBI single in his first two at-bats, giving Seibu a 3-1 lead after three innings.

Yasuyuki Kataoka drove in a much-needed insurance run in the eighth.

Lotte struck back with a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Toshiaki Imae, but Brian Sikorski closed the door to earn his PL-leading 33rd save.

Yuji Yoshimi (6-7) lasted only 3 1/3 innings. The third-place Marines have lost four straight games.

Eagles 5, Buffaloes 1

At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight shutout innings to reach double-digit wins for the third straight year as Tohoku Rakuten ended Orix’s winning streak at three games.

Iwakuma (10-8) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out six. Motohiro Shima opened the scoring with a two-run double in the fourth off Masayuki Hasegawa (0-2).

Fighters 4, Hawks 1

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Yu Darvish struck out 12 in his eighth complete game of the season, leading Hokkaido Nippon Ham past Softbank.

Darvish (11-7) outpitched Toshiya Sugiuchi (15-7) and had a shutout until Roberto Petagine’s RBI single with one out in the ninth inning.

Eiichi Koyano hit a solo home run in the fourth and Sho Nakata singled in two runs in the sixth.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Dragons 7, BayStars 2

At Nagoya Dome, Tony Blanco had a pair of two-run homers among his four hits, Masahiro Yamamoto took a shutout into the sixth inning and Chunichi routed Yokohama.

The 45-year-old Yamamoto (5-0) allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings for the victory, while former major leaguer Tomokazu Ohka (6-8) took the loss. Chunichi stretched its CL lead to 1 1/2 games over Hanshin.

Swallows 3, Tigers 2

At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Josh Whitesell’s two-run homer capped a three-run eighth-inning rally against star closer Kyuji Fujikawa as Tokyo Yakult beat Hanshin for the second straight day.

Shohei Tateyama (9-6) allowed two unearned runs in seven innings for the win. Lim Chang Yong threw a perfect ninth to pick up his 29th save. Randy Messenger pitched seven scoreless innings before Fujikawa (3-3) started the eighth.

Giants 11, Carp 6

At Tokyo Dome, Alex Ramirez broke a 6-all tie with his fourth hit of the night and Shinnosuke Abe followed with a grand slam in the seventh inning as Yomiuri outslugged Hiroshima.

Ramirez hit his baseball-leading 43rd home run and finished 4-for-4 with five RBIs. Abe reached 40 home runs for the first time.