Nathan Minchey scattered five hits over eight innings and won his fifth straight decision as the Chiba Lotte Marines edged the Nippon Ham Fighters 1-0 at Chiba Marine Stadium on Monday.

Minchey (6-3) struck out six and walked two while closer Masahide Kobayashi pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

Lotte left fielder Rick Short hit a grounder in the first inning with one out and bases loaded off Nippon Ham starter Itsuki Shoda (1-6) to bring home the only run of the game.

Shoda held the Marines to one run on three hits over seven solid inning in a losing effort as the Fighters fell to their second straight shutout loss and saw its winning streak against Lotte come to a halt at four games.

BlueWave 2, Buffaloes 1

Lefty Masahiko Kaneda limited Kintetsu to one run on seven hits over 7-2/3 innings for the win as Orix beat the Buffaloes at Osaka Dome.

Yuji Goshima hit a solo homer in the eighth inning off Kintetsu reliever Ken Kadokura (3-1) to break a 1-1 tie.

Rookie right-hander Daisuke Kato worked the ninth, striking out two to earn his third save in 13 games as Orix snapped its losing streak at four.

Lions 7, Hawks 3

Alex Cabrera nailed a go-ahead solo homer in the sixth inning and Seibu added two more runs in the seventh on a throwing error as the Lions defeated Daiei at Seibu Dome.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (8-1) pitched 7-2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while fanning six for the win.

Daiei hurler Toshiya Sugiuchi (3-6) was tagged with the loss, giving up four runs — two earned — on nine hits, including two solo homers to Hiroshi Hirao and Cabrera.

Hawks pitcher Tanoue sidelined

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks right-hander Keizaburo Tanoue on Monday was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle with damaged ligaments in the same foot and was told by doctors he will need a full month to recover, officials of the Pacific League club said.

Tanoue, who went 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 26 games last season, has been playing on Daiei’s farm team since the season opener and injured his ankle during Saturday’s practice.

Tigers eye Rigan

OSAKA (Kyodo) The Hanshin Tigers are looking to acquire New York Mets’ Triple-A pitcher Jerrod Rigan, officials of the Central League club said Monday.

Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino said he became interested in the 29-year-old Rigan after watching a video of the right-hander pitch. Rigan has a career 5-4 record with a 5.19 ERA in 67 major league games.

Checkup for Fujita

OSAKA (Kyodo) Hanshin Tigers right-hander Taiyo Fujita, who damaged ligaments in the elbow of his throwing arm last month, will leave for Los Angeles within a few days to undergo a detailed medical checkup of his elbow.

The third-year pitcher and 2001 top draft pick is 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA in five games this season.

Giants ink Santana

The Yomiuri Giants have signed a deal with former Detroit Tigers right-hander Julio Santana, who currently plays for the Phildelphia Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, officials of the Central League club said Monday.

Santana, 29, has signed a formal contract with the Giants and is expected to arrive in Japan at the end of June, the officials said.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Santana has also played for the Texas Rangers in the major leagues.

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