Masahiro Tanaka threw seven solid innings as the Rakuten Eagles beat the SoftBank Hawks 3-1 Monday to snap their losing streak at five games.
The former New York Yankees ace allowed five hits and limited the damage to a sixth-inning home run by Yuki Yanagita in a pitching matchup against former Chicago Cubs left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada at Tokyo Dome.
Tanaka (4-4) walked two and struck out three in a 99-pitch outing for the last-place Eagles. The Hawks slipped to third from first in the Pacific League standings.
"With the team and myself struggling to get results, I knew I had to step up and turn the tide," Tanaka said. "My condition is getting better. I threw my fastball well tonight, so my off-speed pitches worked, too."
Tsuyoshi Yamasaki and Ryosuke Tatsumi each hit RBI doubles off Wada (5-3), who worked five innings.
Yuki Matsui closed out the ninth for his 15th save.