[Only a day late....]
Lions’ streak over at 10
The Seibu Lions had been winning so much, perhaps it was time to pause for effect on Wednesday night.
Luis Garcia went 4-for-4 and banged a pair of homers, the second a two-run shot that broke a tie in the eighth inning, and the Rakuten Eagles topped the Lions 4-2 to put an end to Seibu’s longest winning streak in nine years.
The loss, coupled with Orix’s win, pushed the charging Lions four games back in the race for the final Pacific League Climax Series playoff spot.
Yosuke Takasu also homered, giving the Eagles three longballs in a game for the first time this season.
Yusei Kikuchi was knocked around for nine hits in 5.1 innings, but only allowed two runs, thanks in part to four Ks.
Garcia spanked his sixth homer off Kikuchi with the bases empty in the sixth, and took Hsu Ming-chieh (6-2) out to center with a man aboard to win it.
Koji Aoyama gave up three rockets by all at people to notch his second save.
HAWKS 7, FIGHTERS 0
Tsuyoshi Wada (14-5) handcuffed Nippon Ham on six hits over seven innings as SoftBank racked up its single-season franchise-best 25th shutout, and reduced its magic number to three with a win over the skidding Fighters.
The Fighters, who left 10 runners on base, are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak, their longest in six years.
Kenji Akashi had one hit and three RBIs and Wada got help from Masahiko Morifuku and Yhency Brazoban to close it out.
BUFFALOES 6, MARINES 0
Takahiro “T.O.” Okada cracked a three-run homer and Hayato Terahara (12-9) fired a career-best two-hitter for his third shutout this season as Orix topped Lotte for its fifth straight win.
Mistutaka Goto notched his 41st hit of the month and the win moved the surprising Buffaloes 1.5 games back of second-place Nippon Ham. It was the Buffaloes’ 17th win of the month, their high since 1995.
Lotte has lost 11 straight, its longest skid since 2002.
SWALLOWS 8, TIGERS 5
Wladimir Balentien smashed a two-run, go-ahead homer that sparked a six-run sixth inning as Yakult came back to top Hanshin at Jingu Stadium.
Balentien, who leads the CL with 29 longballs, and Norichika Aoki had two RBIs each and Lim Chang Yang finished up for his 28th save.
Hanshin’s Takahiro Arai slugged his 250th career homer, a three-run shot, in the loss.
GIANTS 2, BAYSTARS 1
Shigeyuki Furuki doubled in Yomiuri’s runs in the ninth inning off Yokohama closer Shun Yamaguchi (2-5) as the Giants rallied late to top the BayStars.
Reliever Micheal Nakamura worked a scoreless eighth to pick up his third win since joining the Giants in 2009, his first since July 19 last year.
DRAGONS 1, CARP 1
Hiroshima pinch-hitter Masato Akamatsu’s sixth-inning single tied the score and Chunichi closer Hitoki Iwase escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the ninth before the time limit forced a draw at The Zoom.
Motonobu Tanishige drove in a the Dragons’ only run -- his career-best ninth straight game with an RBI -- with a double in the fourth, and Chunichi gunned down two runners at the plate.
Iwase extended his NPB record to 13 consecutive years of at least 50 appearances.