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Pinch hitter Keisuke Mizuta hit a game-tying sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to force extra innings, but Shinji Mori gave up two runs, including the game winner, as the Seibu Lions fell 3-2 to the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes in the Pacific League on Saturday.

News photoSeibu lions starter Daisuke Matsuzaka reflects on giving
up a run to the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes in the second inning
of Saturday’s game at Seibu Dome. Matsuzaka allowed six
hits and struck out nine over nine innings in the Lions’ 3-2
loss.

The Lions, who were three games behind the front-running Fukuoka Daiei Hawks as of Friday, reduced the Hawks’ magic number to clinch the PL pennant to seven with nine games remaining in the season.

Fighters 4, Hawks 3

At Fukuoka Dome, Kazuteru Shimada doubled with one out in the fifth inning to drive home two decisive runs as Nippon Ham held on to edge front-running Daiei.

Keizaburo Tanoue (1-1) allowed a two-run homer to Angel Echevarria to get the Fighters on the scoreboard in the first inning.

Satoru Kanemura (10-6) notched double-digit wins for the second consecutive season.

BlueWave at Marines — ppd.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 4, Tigers 2

At Tokyo Dome, Koji Uehara struck out 11 in a five-hit complete-game effort and Yoshinobu Takahashi and Takayuki Shimizu had three hits apiece as Yomiuri beat Hanshin.

The Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the fourth inning before Atsushi Kataoka connected for a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to bring the Tigers within 3-2. Kazuhiro Kiyohara’s solo homer — his 23rd of the season — in the bottom of the inning capped the scoring for the Giants.

Uehara (14-5) allowed just one walk on his way to earning his first decision since Aug. 29 and his 70th career victory in his fifth year.

Dragons at BayStars — ppd.

Carp at Swallows — ppd.

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