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Ernesto Mejia and Hideto Asamura both went deep as the Seibu Lions defeated the stuttering Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 6-3 on Thursday, trimming the Pacific League leaders’ advantage to nearly nothing.

The Hawks, two-time reigning Japan-Series champions, held an 11-½ game lead over the then third-place Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on June 24 — when Nippon Ham was two games into a franchise-record 15-game winning streak. The Fighters’ winning percentage improved to .620 after a 6-1 win over the Orix Buffaloes, while the Hawks, who have lost eight of their last nine games, are at .621. The two teams begin a three-game series on Friday at Sapporo Dome.

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