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Buffaloes keep Sugiuchi from reaching triple digits in wins

Toshiya Sugiuchi of the SoftBank Hawks is sitting on the verge of 100 wins, but it’s starting to look like he's in an assigned seat.

Sugiuchi gave up the lead on Toshio Saito’s first RBI in nearly two years, and Fumihiro Suzuki floated a single to left off Brian Falkenborg (0-2) in the ninth inning for a 4-3 walk-off win as the Orix Buffaloes won their second straight over of the Hawks.

The Buffaloes had a pair of unlikely heroes come through, but Sugiuchi, who won his 99th career game on June 11, stumbled again one step from a milestone win.

He has been a little unlucky while keeping the Pacific League’s front-running Hawks in the game his past two outings, but is just 4-3 on a team that is 19 games over .500.

The Buffaloes moved one game over .500 and are in third place in the PL.

Suzuki, a seldom-used backup catcher, replaced Saito, an even lesser-used backstop, and got a hit in his second at-bat. It was the first walk-off hit for Suzuki in his 14-year career.


Tomohisa Otani (1-3) earned his first win as a starter -- his second as a pro -- with 7.1 innings of two-run pitching, and Yoshifumi Okada had three hits and two RBIs as Lotte won at The Kleenex Box.

It was Otani’s longest career outing, and the right-hander allowed six hits and a walk.


Masaru Takeda (6-5) worked into the seventh inning, allowing a run on two hits and three walks with a pair of Ks as visiting Nippon Ham topped Seibu.

Sho Nakata knocked in a run to grab a share of the league lead with 44, and Atsunori Inaba and Yoshio Itoi also drove in runs to back Takeda in his first pro win at Seibu Dome.



Hisayoshi Chono blasted a solo shot off Chen Wei-yin in the eighth inning and host Yomiuri outlasted Chunichi.

Kentaro Nishimura, making his first start of the season, carried a shutout into the sixth before allowing a run and got no decision. Tetsuya Yamaguchi (1-0) earned his first win since Sept. 25 with two scoreless innings.

Chen has dropped five straight decisions.


Tetsuya Kokubo went 4-for-4 and scored twice, and Dennis Sarfate worked the final two innings to nail down his CL-best-tying 17th save as Hiroshima outlasted Yakult at The Zoom.

Soichiro Amaya and Akihiro Higashide each went 2-for-4 and had two RBIs for the Carp, who came back from a 4-0 deficit.


Akihito Fujii homered and drove in two runs and Takahiro Arai had a first-inning two-run homer as Hanshin downed Yokohama at Koshien Stadium.

Kyuji Fujikawa nailed it down in the ninth to even Hiroshima’s Dennis Sarfate with his CL-best 17th save. The loss sent the BayStars to a season-worst 14 games under .500.


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