Daiei right fielder Hiroshi Shibahara drove home four runs and rookie hurler Nagisa Arakaki pitched five-plus innings to notch his his third win as the Pacific League-leading Hawks downed the Nippon Ham Fighters 9-4 at Tokyo Dome on Monday to extend their win streak to five games.

Trailing 1-0 in the third, Shibahara nailed a two-run homer off Nippon Ham starter Carlos Mirabal (4-4) to give Daiei the lead.

Shibahara hit a sacrifice fly to cap a five-run fourth-inning outburst and connected for an RBI single in the sixth.

Daiei capped its scoring with a Nobuhiko Matsunaka solo homer in the seventh.

Arakaki (3-5) yielded three runs on 10 hits while striking out six and picked up his first win since April 22.

BlueWave 8, Marines 7

Kota Soejima drew a walk with the bases loaded for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as Orix came back from a 7-0 deficit to beat Lotte at Yahoo BB Stadium.

Jose Ortiz highlighted the BlueWave’s game-tying seven-run rally in the fifth with a bases-clearing three-run double.

Lions 4, Buffaloes 2

Scott McClain smacked a go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth inning off Kintetsu starter Jeremy Powell (4-5) as Seibu snapped its losing streak at three with a win over the Buffaloes at Osaka Dome.

Giant spenders

Yomiuri Giants players overwhelmed their peers on the 11 other professional baseball teams for the ninth straight year in terms of average annual salary, the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) said Monday.

In releasing its survey as of March 28 this year, the JPBPA said the average salary of top-team players belonging to the popular Central League team was about 104 million yen.

Although this was about 18 million yen lower than that of last year due to high-paid slugger Hideki Matsui having left to play for the New York Yankees from this season, the average still far outweighed that of a player for the Pacific League’s Seibu Lions (68.5 million yen), according to the survey.

Matsui earned an estimated 610 million yen for the 2002 season, the highest in Japan.

The average annual salary of all 12 teams was 60.6 million yen.

The average salary of a Fukuoka Daiei Hawks player showed a 27 million yen decline from the preceding year to 47.8 million yen as the PL team has many rookie players, including pitchers Nagisa Arakaki and Tsuyoshi Wada, it said.

The Orix BlueWave brought up the rear with a yearly salary of 44.8 million yen, while the Hanshin Tigers saw an average salary increase by 10 million yen to 54 million yen as the current CL leaders introduced many high-paid players for the ongoing season.

A total of 62 players — 42 in the CL and 20 in the PL — receive more than 100 million yen yearly, down one from last year, with Yomiuri having 11 such players.

Yomiuri topped the list of aggregate totals with 3.73 billion yen, while Orix was at the bottom with 1.67 billion yen, the survey showed.

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