Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto worked seven innings and two relievers completed the seven-hit shutout in a 3-0 Pacific League win over the Seibu Lions on Wednesday.

At Saitama Prefecture's Belluna Dome outside Tokyo, Yamamoto (12-5) allowed five hits and a walk while striking out five for the two-time defending PL champs and runaway league leaders.

"After the first inning, I had to pitch some with runners on base, but their pitcher was getting out of jams and I didn't want to let him get the upper hand," Yamamoto said.

"Pounding the strike zone led to my just scraping by without allowing a run."

Lions starting pitcher Tatsuya Imai (7-4) got big outs to keep Seibu in the game. The right-hander walked five and gave up seven hits but allowed just one run over six innings.

Former Lion Tomoya Mori, who joined Orix as a free agent over the winter, gave his new teammates some breathing room when he doubled and scored a seventh-inning insurance run, and drove in a ninth-inning run with a sacrifice fly.

Closer Yoshihisa Hirano allowed two hits in the ninth but escaped unscathed to record his 21st save.

Elsewhere, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters knocked out the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 10-4, while the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks overcame three solo home runs from Gregory Polanco in a 9-5 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines.

In the Central League, the league-leading Hanshin Tigers came from behind to beat the Chunichi Dragons 7-2, the Hiroshima Carp downed the DeNA BayStars 5-2, and the Yomiuri Giants walked off 4-3 winners over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in 11 innings.