• Kyodo


Tony Batista delivered a game-winning single in the ninth inning, lifting the Pacific-League leading Softbank Hawks to their 13th straight win with an 8-7 victory over the last-place Rakuten Eagles on Monday.

News photoTakeshi Yamasaki of the Rakuten Golden Eagles hits a two-run homer off Softbank starter
Keizaburo Tanoue on Monday at Yahoo Dome. The Hawks won 8-7.

Tatsuya Ide reached on a pinch-hit single and took second on a sacrifice bunt followed by Batista’s single to center for a dramatic finish after the Hawks blew a seven-run lead at Yahoo Dome.

Rakuten erased a seven-run deficit in the final two innings, featuring a bases-loaded two-run double by Yoshinori Okihara and Tadaharu Sakai’s RBI triple in the ninth to tie it.

Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit his third home run in two games and league-leading 28th homer of the season. Ide also had a three-run blast to make 7-0 through the sixth before Luis Lopez and Takeshi Yamasaki homered to cut the deficit to 7-3 in the eighth.

Marines 6, Fighters 2 (10)

At Tokyo Dome, Akira Otsuka delivered a tiebreaking RBI double to left in the 10th inning and Toshiaki Imae extended the lead with a two-run double as Lotte beat Nippon Ham.

Lions 10, Buffaloes 7

At Osaka Dome, Kazuhiro Wada and Hiroyuki Nakajima drove in four runs between them as Seibu held off Orix to win its third game in a row after snapping a seven-game losing streak.

Interleague format

The 12 pro baseball teams will continue to play 36 games each in the second year of interleague play between the Central and Pacific leagues next season, a Japanese pro baseball committee decided on Monday.

Each of the teams in the respective leagues will play six games each against their opponents, including three home and three visitor games.

The games will be held before the All-Star break in July as was done this season, but the committee is still debating a plan to divide the interleague calendar into a first half and a second half.

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