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Buffed up ...

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Buffed up ...

Orix runs streak to 8, takes over 3rd

The Buffaloes are running wild in the Pacific League.

Chihiro Kaneko (8-3) shut down the Rakuten Eagles on three hits over the distance and Keiji Obiki drove in two in a 4-0 shutout at The Kleenex Box as Orix won its eighth straight -- its longest winning streak in 10 years.

Kaneko, who started the season injured, posted his first shutout of the season, fanning 10 with no walks to win his 10th straight against the Eagles, dating back to 2008. Orix moved past Rakuten for sole possession of third place in the Pacific League.

Mitstaka Goto extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a two-run single in the third that opened the scoring.

HAWKS 1, FIGHTERS 0: D.J. Houlton (14-6) tossed 6.2 shutout innings and seldom-used Shuhei Fukuda doubled in the game’s only run in the fifth as SoftBank blanked Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome.

Fukuda also tripled in the seventh as the Hawks stretched their lead over the Fighters to a season-best six games. The Fighters lost their season-worst-tying fifth straight.

LIONS 5, MARINES 1: Kazihisa Ishii (6-7) scattered five hits and a walk over 7.2 innings, and Hiroyuki Nakajima knocked in a pair of runs in the second as Seibu topped Lotte, which dropped its sixth straight and fell into the cellar.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

SWALLOWS 7, BAYSTARS 2:
Kazuhiro Hatakeyama drove in three, and Shingo Kawabata had two hits and two RBIs as front-running Yakult won to improve to 10-2 against host Yokohama.

GIANTS 5, DRAGONS 2: Alex Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Tetsuya Utsumi (14-4) tossed six strong innings as Yomiuri downed Chunichi at Nagoya Dome.

Utsumi tied his 2007 career high with his league-leading 14th win, while and Maximo Nelson (6-13) suffered his CL-worst 13th loss.

TIGERS 2, CARP 1:
Takashi Toritani drove in a pair of runs and Randy Messenger (10-3) held Hiroshima to a run over seven innings for his eighth straight win at Koshien Stadium.

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