Tomohisa Ozeki threw five-plus shutout innings on four hits as the SoftBank Hawks beat their fellow playoff-berth chasers Rakuten Eagles 6-0 in the Pacific League on Monday.

First-inning RBI singles from Yuki Yanagita and Akira Nakamura off former New York Yankee Masahiro Tanaka (7-11) gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead before Ozeki (5-7) survived a bases-loaded jam with a double play in the top of the second at PayPay Dome.

Tatsuru Yanagimachi doubled and scored on a ground out in the home half as Tanaka, who allowed five hits and a walk while striking out one over five innings, suffered his third straight losing decision.

Ozeki issued a walk while fanning five to snap his three straight losing decisions, meanwhile, earning his first win since May 30.

The Hawks scored three more thanks to a bases-loaded walk in the sixth and a two-run error from Rakuten right fielder Takero Okajima in the seventh, while four Hawks relievers kept the Eagles off the board.

SoftBank is in second and a game ahead of Rakuten, while the Chiba Lotte Marines rose to third, half a game behind SoftBank, after defeating the Saitama Seibu Lions 7-3. The top three teams from the regular season will enter the postseason Climax Series.

The PL champion Orix Buffaloes won 3-0 against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters as closer Yoshihisa Hirano claimed his 250th save in his professional career, becoming the fourth Japanese to reach the landmark.

Hirano, who pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks for two years from 2018 and a season for the Seattle Mariners, joined former big leaguers Kazuhiro Sasaki (381) and Shingo Takatsu (313) as well as former Chunichi Dragons closer Hitoki Iwase (407) in reaching the figure.