CHIBA (Kyodo) Right-hander Shota Oba pitched a one-hitter in six shutout innings to build a strong case for a spot in the starting rotation Sunday as the Softbank Hawks edged the Chiba Lotte Marines 2-1 in a preseason game.

Oba, who had a 3-5 record in his rookie season last year, escaped a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the first inning to retire the next 18 batters he faced at Chiba Marine Stadium. He allowed an infield single and two walks while striking out five in picking up his second win of the spring.

Softbank infielder Yuichi Honda went 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Lotte starter Hiroyuki Kobayashi yielded two runs in five innings.

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