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Baseball: Hawks reduce magic number to one for PL title

SoftBank Hawks pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada celebrates after earning his 150th career win on Sept. 30, 2022, at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi in Sendai, northeastern Japan. (Kyodo)

SENDAI (Kyodo) -- Former Chicago Cubs left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada earned his 150th career win in Japan as the Pacific League-leading SoftBank Hawks beat the Rakuten Eagles 5-1 on Friday to cut their magic number to one for clinching the PL title.

    Wada (7-4) allowed one run and two hits in five innings of work at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi. Yuki Yanagita had an RBI double in a three-run fourth before Alfredo Despaigne hit a solo home run two innings later.

    Hideaki Wakui (4-3) took the loss after giving up five runs in six innings.

    "I'm glad I was able to pitch for my career milestone in a crucial game," Wada said. "Their starting pitcher was Wakui, so I tried not to allow them to score first. My team scored first, so that encouraged me a lot."

    At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Shuhei Fukuda dropped down a walk-off bunt single in the ninth inning as the second-place Orix Buffaloes edged the Lotte Marines 4-3 to stay alive in the league title race.

    Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto struck out 10 and allowed two runs in seven innings.

    In the Central League, Patrick Kivlehan hit a three-run homer and Hikaru Yamashita pitched 7-2/3 shutout innings, leading the CL champion Yakult Swallows to a 5-1 win over the Hiroshima Carp.

    Yakult cleanup hitter Munetaka Murakami stayed at 55 home runs, going 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.

    The Chunichi Dragons defeated the DeNA BayStars 6-1.

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