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Makita goes the distance as Lions get 1st home win

Kazuhisa Makita had a cramp in his leg in the ninth inning on Tuesday, but it was far less than the pain Seibu Lions fans have experienced early on this season.

The second-year submariner overcame the physical challenge for his first complete game since last May 6, and the Lions got their first win at Seibu Dome this season, topping the Nippon Ham Fighters 3-2.

Still, the Lions are in the Pacific League cellar--five games under .500 just 11 games into the season--after stopping a club-worst six-game home skid to start the season.

Makita, who gave up a run in the ninth and had go-ahead runs on base, was able to joke around in the hero interview before getting serious.

“It’s been a long time since I threw that long and I was tired,” Makita quipped. “The season has just started and we have just three wins, so there’s nothing to get happy about now.”

Said Seibu skipper Hisanobu Watanabe: “This is a big win for us. We don’t have any home games for a while, so it was good to win this one.”

Hiroyuki Nakajima’s RBI single in the third got the Lions even, and Takeya Nakamura tripled in a run and scored on Esteban German’s single in the fifth to give Seibu the lead.

HAWKS 2, BUFFALOES 0

Wily Mo Pena socked a two-run homer to break up a scoreless tie in the seventh and lefty Hiroki Yamada (2-1) worked seven innings as SoftBank improved its mastery of Orix to nine straight wins by blanking the Buffaloes at Kyocera Dome Osaka.

Brian Falkenborg slammed the door in the ninth for his seventh save.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

GIANTS 4, DRAGONS 1

Toshiya Sugiuchi tormented Chunichi with 10 punchouts [the 51st time in his career he has notched double digits in Ks] over eight innings and Hisayoshi Chono had two hits a pair of RBIs as Yomiuri won at Nagoya Dome.

Hayato Sakamoto came up with three hits, including a two-run double in the ninth, to back Sugiuchi (2-1), who allowed just four hits and two walks.

TIGERS 4, SWALLOWS 0

Third-year righty Randy Messenger (2-0) fanned nine and scattered four hits and a walk in his first shutout with Hanshin in a victory over Yakult.

Craig Brazell had a two-run homer and Matt Murton chipped in with three hits and two RBIs to back Messenger.

CARP 3, BAYSTARS 0

Kan Otake (2-1) fired seven scoreless innings, holding Yokohama to four hits and a walk, and Eishin Soyogi and Jun Hirose each hit solo blats as Hiroshima won at The Zoom to halt a four-game skid.

Dennis Sarfate closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth to send the BayStars to their sixth shutout loss this season.


The Eagles and Marines were rained out at Chiba Marine Field.

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