Baseball: Hawks reduce magic number to one for PL title

Former Chicago Cubs left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada earned his 150th career win in Japan as the Pacific League-leading SoftBank Hawks beat the Rakuten Eagles 5-1 on Friday to cut their magic number to one for clinching the PL title.

Wada (7-4) allowed one run and two hits in five innings of work at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi. Yuki Yanagita had an RBI double in a three-run fourth before Alfredo Despaigne hit a solo home run two innings later.

Hideaki Wakui (4-3) took the loss after giving up five runs in six innings.

"I'm glad I was able to pitch for my career milestone in a crucial game," Wada said. "Their starting pitcher was Wakui, so I tried not to allow them to score first. My team scored first, so that encouraged me a lot."

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Shuhei Fukuda dropped down a walk-off bunt single in the ninth inning as the second-place Orix Buffaloes edged the Lotte Marines 4-3 to stay alive in the league title race.

Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto struck out 10 and allowed two runs in seven innings.

In the Central League, Patrick Kivlehan hit a three-run homer and Hikaru Yamashita pitched 7-2/3 shutout innings, leading the CL champion Yakult Swallows to a 5-1 win over the Hiroshima Carp.

Yakult cleanup hitter Munetaka Murakami stayed at 55 home runs, going 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.

The Chunichi Dragons defeated the DeNA BayStars 6-1.

© Kyodo News