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Baseball: Giants, Togo put brakes on runaway Swallows

Shosei Togo of the Yomiuri Giants pitches against the Yakult Swallows during their Central League game at Tokyo Dome on July 5, 2022. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Shosei Togo got out of a couple of early jams to allow just a run over six innings to pitch the Yomiuri Giants to a 4-1 win over the Central League-leading Yakult Swallows on Tuesday.

    The win at Tokyo Dome moved the second-place Giants to within 12-1/2 games of the Swallows in the CL pennant race.

    Togo (8-3) allowed a run after the first two Swallows reached in the top of the first, but his teammates responded in the bottom of the inning with three runs on five straight no-out hits against lefty Keiji Takahashi (6-2).

    "I've let the team down in some important games," Takahashi said. "For that reason, I took the mound tonight determined to get some payback."

    "I didn't have any spots where I was really good. But by trying to make every pitch count, I was able to hold them to a run. So I'm relieved."

    Giants catcher Takumi Oshiro opened the fourth with a solo home run off Takahashi, who worked 5-1/3 innings. Neither team's bullpen showed any weaknesses, and rookie Giants closer Taisei Ota earned his 24th save.

    In the Pacific League, the SoftBank Hawks beat the second-place Rakuten Eagles 6-2 to increase their league lead to 3-1/2 games, while the Lotte Marines beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 2-1 in 10 innings, and the Seibu Lions downed the Orix Buffaloes 5-4 in 12 innings.

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