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Treading water …

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Treading water …

Lions win 8th straight but fail to make up ground

The Seibu Lions are putting things together at the right time, or the wrong time, depending on how it's viewed.

Takayuki Kishi fired a cool 94-pitch complete game -- his first of the season -- and Takeya Nakamura cracked his Japan-high 42nd homer as Seibu downed the Lotte Marines 4-1 at The Q on Sunday.

The Lions won their eighth straight, but again failed to make up ground in the Pacific League playoff chase because the Orix Buffaloes refuse to lose. They beat Nippon Ham 4-0 to sweep their series in Sapporo.
Kishi scattered three hits, while walking none and fanning four for his third straight win.

The last-place Marines scored in the eighth inning when Tadahito Iguchi tripled and came home on a groundout.
Nakamura slugged a solo shot in the second to put the Lions up a run, and Seibu rallied for three runs in the third, highlighted by Jose Fernandez's two-run single.

The game lasted just two hours, the shortest in the PL this season.

BUFFALOES 4, FIGHTERS 0

Alfredo Figaro (8-6) and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout as Orix won for the eighth time in nine games by topping Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome.
The Fighters dropped their seventh straight.

HAWKS 2, EAGLES 1

Seiichi Uchikawa, in his 1,000th career game, slapped a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth as SoftBank won its series over Rakuten at The Kleenex Box.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

SWALLOWS 6, DRAGONS 1

Katsuki Akagawa (5-1) held the Dragons hitless for 5.1 innings and carried a shutout into the ninth as Yakult dodged a four-game sweep by topping Chunichi at Nagoya Dome.

Akagawa finished off his first complete game after allowing a two-out run in the ninth as the Swallows moved back to 2.5 games ahead of Chunichi.

GIANTS 4, TIGERS 2

Tetsuya Utsumi (15-5) worked seven sharp innings and Josh Fields’ clutch RBI single capped a three-run rally in the third as Yomiuri got past Hanshin at Koshien Stadium.

Utsumi’s 15 wins, tied him for the CL lead and are the most by a Giants lefty since 1979, when Hisao Niura went 15-11 [according to Wikipedia].

CARP 10, BAYSTARS 4

Kenya Kurihara and Brian Barden each had three hits and three RBIs as Hiroshima routed host Yokohama to win that series.

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