Senga collects career-high 13th victory as Hawks edge Marines


Kodai Senga picked up his career-best 13th win by holding Chiba Lotte to one earned run on six hits and two walks in seven innings as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks beat the Marines 2-1 on Saturday for their eighth consecutive victory.

Senga, who struck out four, threw four 1-2-3 innings at Zozo Marine Stadium, where SoftBank trimmed its magic number to six.

Hawks closer Dennis Sarfate extended his NPB single-season record of 49 saves by pitching a perfect ninth.

“I’m happy but we still have games to play, and I think I can do better,” said Senga, who improved to 13-3. “I had less pressure going on the mound because (Yuki Yanagita and Nobuhiro Matsuda) put us on the board right away.”

Yanagita and Matsuda each drove in a run off Hideaki Wakui (5-10) in the first inning to stake SoftBank to a 2-0 lead.

Lotte’s Katsuya Kakunaka doubled in the fifth and scored on Tatsuhiro Tamura’s RBI single, but it was not enough for the last-place Marines to prevail over the Pacific League-leading Hawks.

Wakui pitched seven solid innings by scattering seven hits and four walks. He fanned four batters.

The Marines dropped their third straight game.

Buffaloes 5, Eagles 3

At Sendai’s Kobo Park, Yutaro Sugimoto’s solo homer and an RBI double by Stefen Romero off Tohoku Rakuten starter Wataru Karashima (8-8) keyed Orix’s four-run first inning.

Fighters 1, Lions 0

At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Brandon Laird hit a fourth-inning solo shot and Takayuki Kato (6-6) only allowed three hits while striking out seven in 7-1/3 scoreless innings in Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s victory triumph over Seibu.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Swallows 4, Giants 0

At Tokyo Dome, Tetsuto Yamada homered twice against Yomiuri, a sixth-inning, three-run shot and a solo homer in the ninth for Tokyo Yakult, which got seven shutout innings from Yasuhiro Ogawa (8-7).

Carp 9, Dragons 5

At Nagoya Dome, Ryuhei Matsuyama went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and Takahiro Iwamoto hit his first home run in three seasons, a seventh-inning, three-run blast as Hiroshima won its eighth in a row by coming from behind to beat Chunichi.

Tigers 2, BayStars 1 (12)

At Koshien Stadium, Takashi Toritani’s two-out, bases-loaded RBI single in the bottom of the 12th lifted Hanshin over Yokohama.

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