FUKUOKA – Tadashi Settsu tossed eight shutout innings, leading the charge as the front-running Softbank Hawks beat the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 2-0 to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday.
Settsu (9-5), who yielded just two hits, walked three and struck out seven, threw batters off balance with an unwieldy sinker and Brain Falkenborg had a perfect ninth for his 11th save.
Hiroki Kokubo opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first inning and Hitoshi Tamura added a run-scoring single in the fourth at Yahoo Dome.
Masaru Takeda (8-6) was tagged with the loss. The second-place Fighters lost three straight to a team for the first time this season.
Eagles 2, Marines 0
At Seibu Dome, Masahiro Tanaka threw eight scoreless frames and Takeshi Yamasaki contributed with a two-run single in the fourth inning, lifting Tohoku Rakuten past Chiba Lotte.
Tanaka (10-3) only had three strikeouts, yielded seven hits and walked two, notching double-digit wins for the third straight year. Darrell Rasner earned his fifth save. Shingo Ono (3-1) took the loss.
Lions 7, Buffaloes 5
At QVC Marine Field, Hiroyuki Nakajima had a go-head two-run single with two outs in the sixth inning as last-place Seibu prevailed over Orix in a see-saw contest. Ginjiro Sumitani added a suicide squeeze in the seventh inning.
Tigers 2, BayStars 0
Carp 2, Dragons 1 (11)
Giants 6, Swallows 6 (tie)
Deal falls through
A trade that had been in the works to send right-hander Rich Harden from the Oakland Athletics to the Boston Red Sox fell through late Saturday, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said.
Harden isn’t headed for Beantown after all. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the private nature of such talks.
The pitcher said after Saturday night’s 8-3 win over Minnesota that general manager Billy Beane told him he was staying put and would start Tuesday. The Red Sox and A’s had been close to agreeing on the swap that would have sent Harden to Boston and brought Triple-A first baseman Lars Anderson to the A’s.
“I just spoke with Billy and he says I’m an ‘A’ and I’m starting on Tuesday in Seattle,” Harden told reporters. “It’s definitely a strange position to be in, but from what I hear I’m here and I’m staying here. I’m happy to be an ‘A’. . . . It’s definitely a strange position to be in.”