OSAKA – Chihiro Kaneko pitched a five-hitter and Yuichiro Mukae drove in two runs as the Orix Buffaloes blanked the Seibu Lions 4-0 on Monday.
Kaneko (6-2) struck out three and walked one in a 118-pitch outing at Kyocera Dome. He allowed just five singles in his second shutout of the season and extended his personal winning streak to six games.
Kuniyuki Kimoto had an RBI single in the fourth to open the scoring and Mukae hit a two-run bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth. Fumiya Nishiguchi (9-11) took the loss.
Carp 5, Dragons 3
At Hiroshima Stadium, Shigenobu Shima went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Masayuki Hasegawa threw eight effective innings as the Carp downed Chunichi Dragons. Chunichi’s loss reduced the Yomiuri Giants’ magic number to one for the Central League title. Yomiuri needs to win one of its two remaining games while Chunichi cannot lose in its final three games.
Shima hit an RBI double to give Hiroshima a 1-0 lead in the second inning and broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth with a two-run triple off reliever Yoshihiro Suzuki (1-1) at Hiroshima Stadium.
Hasegawa (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits before Katsuhiro Nagakawa worked out of a two-on jam in the ninth for his 30th save.
Motonobu Tanishige and Hirokazu Ibata hit solo homers in the third and sixth innings for Chunichi.
Tigers 9, BayStars 7
Chiba Lotte Marines first baseman Julio Zuleta was deactivated from the active roster Monday after he was diagnosed with a bruised rib on his right side.
The club did not say how long Zuleta will need to recover, but the 32-year-old Panamanian will at least be sidelined for the first stage of the Climax Series, which gets under way next Monday.
Zuleta, who hit for the cycle in a win against the Rakuten Eagles on Sept. 22, injured himself while batting in the seventh inning in a game against the Nippon Ham Fighters on Sunday.
He sustained a broken finger in April and aggravated the injury. Zuleta underwent surgery in the United States and was out of the lineup for about three months until late August.