SENDAI – Chihiro Kaneko threw his first shutout of the season, Keiji Obiki had a two-run single and the Orix Buffaloes blanked the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 4-0 to win their eighth game in a row on Tuesday night.
Orix won eight straight for the first time in 10 seasons and moved into third place in the Pacific League standings while returning to .500.
Kaneko (8-3) used an assortment of pitches and allowed just three hits while striking out 10 and walking none in a 130-pitch outing at Kleenex Stadium. Hisashi Iwakuma (6-4) took the loss.
Obiki opened the scoring with his single in the third and the Buffaloes added two runs on groundouts by Tomotaka Sakaguchi and Shogo Akada in the fifth and sixth, respectively.
Lions 5, Marines 1
At Seibu Dome, Yasuyuki Kataoka hit a two-run triple and Hiroyuki Nakajima belted a two-run homer as Seibu downed Chiba Lotte to move out of the PL cellar into fifth place.
Ginjiro Sumitani delivered a sacrifice fly and Kataoka followed with his triple off Yoshihisa Naruse (10-10) to drive in runners from first and second for a 3-0 lead in the second.
Nakajima went deep with two outs in the seventh to cap the scoring.
Kazuhisa Ishii (6-7) gave up one run in 7⅔ innings.
The Marines Lotte lost their sixth in a row and fell into last place for the first time since June 25.
Hawks 1, Fighters 0
Tigers 2, Carp 1
At Koshien Stadium, Randy Messenger limited the damage to one run over seven strong innings and Takashi Toritani drove in both runs as Hanshin beat Hiroshima to move into third place.
Messenger (10-3) yielded three hits, struck out eight and walked one and Kyuji Fujikawa retired three in the ninth for his 32nd save.
Bryan Bullington (12-8) took the loss after allowing two runs in seven innings.
Toritani had a sacrifice fly in the third and a tiebreaking single with two outs in the fifth.
Giants 5, Dragons 3
At Nagoya Dome, Alex Ramirez hit a two-run home run in support of Yomiuri starter Tetsuya Utsumi, who pitched one-run ball over six innings against Chunichi en route to matching a career high with his 14th win.
Utsumi (14-4) allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked two and Yuya Kubo earned his 16th save. Shinnosuke Abe had an RBI double in the second before Ramirez hit his 17th homer of the season for a 3-0 lead in the top of the third.
Maximo Nelson (6-13) lost his ninth consecutive start for the Dragons.
Swallows 8, BayStars 3