Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Marines keep playoff hopes alive

Kyodo

Yuta Omine allowed just three hits in seven innings to set the Chiba Lotte Marines up for a crucial 2-0 win over the last-place Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles on Saturday afternoon.

Needing to win two of their remaining four games to secure the Pacific League’s final playoff berth, the Marines opened the scoring in the eighth after Eagles rookie Yudai Mori and Omine had matched zeroes for seven innings.

“I was really worked up. I’m glad I could get the job done,” Omine said. “I knew we’d get some runs eventually. It’s great to have won today.”

Rakuten right-hander Rhiner Cruz (1-3) struck out the first batter he faced in the eighth before Toshiaki Imae and Alfredo Despaigne singled. Kazuya Fukuura walked on four pitches to load the bases Daichi Suzuki walked to push across a run. An insurance run crossed the plate when Eagles third baseman Zelous Wheeler dropped a catch.

Right-hander Tomohisa Otani (3-1) allowed just a two-out hit in a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win, while Tatsuya Uchi threw a 1-2-3 ninth to record his fifth save.

Buffaloes 5, Hawks 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Fukuoka Softbank continued its post-pennant slumber with a season-low two hits against Orix.

The Hawks’ six-game losing streak is their longest in three seasons.

By winning, the Buffaloes avoided a last-place finish.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 7, BayStars 5

At Yokohama Stadium, Takayuki Kajitani hit a two-run homer and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo hit two solo shots, but that was not enough to prevent Yokohama from falling to Yomiuri and sealing a last-place finish.

Swallows 6, Carp 4 (11)

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Tokyo Yakult showed no signs of pennant-clinching hangovers, overcoming a three-run deficit with the help of two Hiroshima errors before Masayoshi Miwa broke the tie with an 11th-inning RBI single.

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