Baseball: Wada, Kai lead Hawks past Giants

Tsuyoshi Wada tied the record for interleague pitching wins and SoftBank Hawks catcher Takuya Kai backed him with four RBIs in Friday's 5-1 interleague win over the Yomiuri Giants.

The 42-year-old Wada (5-1) allowed a run over 5-2/3 innings at Fukuoka's PayPay Dome, while Kai opened the scoring with a three-run second-inning home run, his fourth and singled in a run in the eighth to make it 4-1.

Kazuma Okamoto accounted for the Giants' run with his Central League-leading 14th home run. Kensuke Kondo hit his seventh home run for the Hawks in the seventh.

The win was Wada's 27th in interleague play, pulling him even with 43-year-old Yakult Swallows lefty Masanori Ishikawa, and came after his previous start was cut short by taking a batted ball off his pitching hand.

"Today, I definitely wanted to pitch deep into the game," said Wada, who struck out six, walked one and allowed four hits.

"For a long time now, I've won every time Takuya drove in a run for me, and I wanted to keep that streak alive. I feel I need to apologize to Takuya, though, since I shook off the pitch he called for on Okamoto's home run."

Wada had trailed Ishikawa in interleague wins primarily because the Hawks veteran spent four years in the United States from 2012 to 2014, and he has been playing down the win total.

"It's something that comes with being allowed to pitch so long," Wada said. "It doesn't mean a lot to me personally, but I'll see if I can make some other people happy with another (win) next time."

Three other Pacific League teams were winners Friday. The Rakuten Eagles squeezed past the Chunichi Dragons 5-4, the Seibu Lions beat the Yakult Swallows 2-1, and the Nippon Ham Fighters downed the CL-leading Hanshin Tigers 4-0.

Trever Bauer (3-2) allowed two runs over seven innings to get the win as the DeNA BayStars came back and beat the Orix Buffaloes 4-2, while the Hiroshima Carp won their fourth straight, beating the PL-leading Lotte Marines 3-2.

© Kyodo News