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Baseball: Eagles' Wakui 1-hitter wins veteran duel against Wada

Hideaki Wakui throws 8-1/3 no-hit innings in the Rakuten Eagles' 6-0 Pacific League win over the SoftBank Hawks on Aug. 5, 2020. (Kyodo)

SENDAI (Kyodo) -- Hideaki Wakui threw 8-1/3 no-hit innings to outclass veteran lefty Tsuyoshi Wada in the Rakuten Eagles' 6-0 Pacific League win over the SoftBank Hawks on Wednesday.

    Keizo Kawashima broke up Wakui's no-hit bid with a ninth-inning pinch-hit single. After a meeting on the mound, Wakui the pitcher composed himself and struck out Kenta Imamiya and superstar Yuki Yanagita to end it.

    Wakui (6-0) finished with eight strikeouts and two walks in a 132-pitch effort, and was laconic as usual afterward despite his near miss.

    "I figured it would turn out this way," Wakui said. "Up until now I've only gone as far as the seventh inning. I'm always thinking 'I can do it. I can do it,' and finally I did well enough that they let me."

    Hawks lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1) worked out of trouble from the get-go after giving up back-to-back singles in the first inning. After a 1-2-3 second, the 39-year-old had to work around leadoff walks.

    Things unraveled for Wada in the fifth after he made a mistake to Kazuki Tanaka, who doubled with one out. After a passed ball, rookie Hiroto Kobukata broke the ice with an RBI single. Daichi Suzuki's run-and-hit single, and Jabari Blash's fly to deep center made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.

    Back-to-back singles by Hideto Asamura and Hiroaki Shimauchi added another run, and the Eagles scored twice against reliever Arata Shiino in the sixth.

    Wakui said it was a pleasure pitching against Wada, who had been the Hawks ace when the right-hander had turned pro out of high school.

    "I really enjoy pitching against him," Wakui said. "It's been a while. But I watch what he does and I always learn something. He's such a great pitcher."

    At Osaka's Kyocera Dome, Hisanori Yasuda's two-run fourth-inning double broke up a scoreless game and Kazuya Ojima (3-3) allowed a run over six innings as the Lotte Marines crushed the Orix Buffaloes 12-1.

    At Sapporo Dome, two-run sixth-inning home runs by Cory Spangenberg and Hotaka Yamakawa powered the Seibu Lions to a 7-2 come-from-behind win over the Nippon Ham Fighters.

    In the Central League, Yusuke Nomura (2-0) allowed a run over seven innings and Hisayoshi Chono doubled home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning for the Hiroshima Carp in a 4-1 win over the Yakult Swallows at Tokyo's Jingu Stadium.

    At Yokohama Stadium, Haruhiro Hamaguchi (3-1) held the Chunichi Dragons to a run over five innings, while Keita Sano homered and drove in three runs in the DeNA BayStars' 8-2 win.

    At Koshien Stadium, Shosei Togo (4-2) allowed a run over seven-plus innings, while Kazuma Okamoto doubled in two runs for the Yomiuri Giants in a 4-1 win over the Hanshin Tigers.

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