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Lions rally past Eagles

Kyodo

Shogo Akiyama and Takeya Nakamura hit back-to-back RBI singles as the Seibu Lions came from two runs down to beat rookie right-hander Takahiro Norimoto and the Pacific League-leading Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Facing a 2-0 deficit in the eighth, Seibu captain Takumi Kuriyama had an RBI grounder followed by singles by Akiyama and Nakamura to give the Lions a 3-2 lead.

Shintaro Masuda hit a one-out solo homer to tie it in the top of the ninth, but Esteban German decided the game with a walkoff single following Yuji Onizaki’s one-out triple in the bottom half at Seibu Dome.

The Eagles saw their winning streak snapped at four. With its magic number remaining at three, the earliest Rakuten can clinch the PL title would be against Seibu on Thursday.

Buffaloes 5, Hawks 3

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Chihiro Kaneko (13-8) allowed three runs and three hits over eight innings and Aarom Baldiris went 4-for-5 with two RBIs as Orix held off third-place Softbank and denied the Hawks any chance of capturing the PL title.

Marines 4, Fighters 3

At Sapporo Dome, Saburo Omura delivered a pinch-hit RBI single as Lotte came from a run down and beat cellar dweller Nippon Ham. Takahiro Fujioka (6-8) limited the damage to one run in 5⅔ innings for the win. The Fighters slipped to their fifth straight defeat.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Carp 5, Dragons 3

At Nagoya Dome, Yoshihiro Maru had a game-tying RBI triple and Ryosuke Kikuchi followed with a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning as third-place Hiroshima moved within one win from clinching a spot in the Climax Series while pushing fourth-place Chunichi to the brink of elimination.

Yusuke Nomura (11-6) yielded three runs and six hits in six innings of the win. Reliever Takuya Asao (2-2) took the loss.

Swallows 10, Giants 3

At Jingu Stadium, Keizo Kawashima and Tetsuto Yamada drove in five runs between them, and Yuichi Matsumoto had four RBIs as last-place Yakult pounded CL pennant winner Yomiuri. Yomiuri’s Tetsuya Utsumi (13-6) was tagged for nine runs in 4⅓ shaky innings.

Tigers 6, BayStars 1

At Koshien Stadium, Matt Murton went 3-for-5 with a tying RBI single in the third inning and Tsuyoshi Nishioka had a three-run double to key a four-run eighth as Hanshin won two straight for the first time in nearly a month a night after clinching a playoff berth.