FUKUOKA – Hidenori Tanoue hit a three-run homer as the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks downed the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 4-2 to extend their winning streak to a season-high nine games on Wednesday.
Tsuyoshi Wada (13-4) limited the damage to two runs in five innings to earn the most wins this season in Japanese baseball. The left-hander allowed six hits and struck out four at Yahoo Dome.
Softbank took a 4-0 lead in the second on Yuya Hasegawa’s RBI single and Tanoue’s shot to left-center field seats off Kohei Hasebe (3-2). The front-running Hawks widened their lead in the Pacific League standings to 1 1/2 games.
Takahiro Mahara picked up his 150th save of his career, ninth on the all-time list, with a scoreless ninth.
Yosuke Takasu and Norihiro Nakamura drove in a run apiece for Rakuten, which lost its fifth straight game.
Buffaloes 5, Fighters 1
At Kobe’s Skymark Stadium, Kazuki Kondo threw one-run ball over 7 2/3 innings and Orix scored four runs in the fifth inning to beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham for its season-high fifth consecutive win.
Kondo (5-6) kept the Fighters scoreless until Atsunori Inaba hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth. He allowed seven hits and struck out five. Yoshihisa Hirano earned his first save.
Tomotaka Sakaguchi hit a solo homer and Koji Yamasaki a two-run single in the fifth. Masao Kida (4-1) took the loss for Nippon Ham, which dropped its third straight.
Marines 9, Lions 4
Tigers 6, BayStars 3
At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Kenji Johjima broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI single and pinch hitter Kentaro Sekimoto added a two-run single in a sixth-run seventh inning as Hanshin rallied to beat the BayStars for the second straight night.
Hanshin sent 11 batters to the plate and rapped out eight hits against Naoyuki Shimizu (8-8) in the big inning to go ahead 6-2. Ken Nishimura (7-2) won in relief.
Brett Harper opened the scoring with a two-run double in the fourth and Jose Castillo added a solo homer in the ninth for Yokohama, which lost its fifth in a row.
Swallows 12, Carp 2
At Jingu Stadium, Shingo Kawabata had a go-ahead two-run triple in the fourth inning as the bottom of the order came alive for Tokyo Yakult on the way to a rout of Hiroshima for its third win in a row.
Josh Whitesell went 3-for-4, driving in five runs on three doubles to help back an effective outing by Masanori Ishikawa (6-8), who pitched two-run ball over innings despite scattering 12 hits, and won his fourth straight start.
Keisuke Imai (0-2) took the loss. Justin Huber hit a solo homer for the Carp.
Giants 7, Dragons 4 (11)