TOKOROZAWA, SAITAMA PREF. – Zach Neal allowed five hits over eight innings to win his 10th-straight decision as the Seibu Lions beat the Orix Buffaloes 5-0 in the Pacific League on Wednesday.
The Seibu win and a loss by the second-place Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks dropped the Lions’ magic number to clinch their second-straight PL championship to six. The Lions have seven games remaining and the Hawks eight.
Neal (11-1), who pitched in the major leagues for the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers, struck out five batters and did not issue a walk for the third-straight game.
The Lions took a 1-0 lead at MetLife Dome in the second inning off Buffaloes rookie Yudai Aranishi (1-4) when Shuta Tonosaki singled and scored on a Hotaka Yamakawa double.
Takumi Kuriyama doubled and scored in the fifth, and Tonosaki opened Seibu’s three-run seventh with his 25th home run.
Eagles 6, Lions 2
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Manabu Mima (8-5) allowed two runs, one earned over five innings, and Kazuya Fujita’s RBI single broke a sixth-inning tie as Tohoku Rakuten beat the SoftBank.
Dragons 3, Giants 1
At Nagoya Dome, Yohei Oshima’s two-run, seventh-inning home run broke a 1-1 tie as Chunichi beat league-leading Yomiuri.
Tigers 3, Swallows 2
At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Koji Chikamoto had three hits in Hanshin’s win over Yakult , giving him 153 for the season, which equals the CL rookie hit record set in 1958 by Hall of Famer Shigeo Nagashima.
Carp at BayStars — ppd.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5