Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Zach Neal picks up 10th straight win as Lions edge closer to Pacific League pennant

Kyodo

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.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

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.

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