Baseball: 41-year-old Wada ends the Hawks’ brief losing streak

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Tsuyoshi Wada of the SoftBank Hawks plays against the Lotte Marines in a Pacific League game at the PayPay Dome in Fukuoka, southwest Japan on May 22, 2022. (kyodo)

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) — Former Chicago Cubs left-back Tsuyoshi Wada allowed a 5-2/3-innings run to help the second-placed SoftBank Hawks in Sunday’s 3-2 Pacific League win over the Lotte Marines to suffer defeat in two games .

The 41-year-old Wada (1-1), the Hawks ace before moving to MLB in 2012, gave up a walk in the first inning but not another runner until a run in the sixth with back-to-back two-out hits at PayPay Dome.

“As always, I gave everything from the start. I figured I had to get through at least six. I’ll try harder next time,” said Wada, who returned to Japan in 2016 after 5-5 in two seasons with the Cubs.

Yuki Yanagita opened the scoring in the fourth with a double home run, his seventh, ahead of Lotte’s left-back Enny Romero (2-4).

“I felt like if I didn’t score we wouldn’t win, so I tried to concentrate as best as I could and was glad I made it off the sweet spot,” Yanagita said of his impressive Homer in the opposite field in the distance stands on the left.

Rising star Tatsuru Yanagimachi doubled in the Hawks’ third run of the inning and the Hawks’ pitching staff maintained the lead, with Livan Moinelo making his seventh save.

Marines captain Shogo Nakamura hit the visitors with a brace in the first run and chased Wada in the sixth. Brandon Laird completed the standings in seventh place by blasting a difficult spot for his sixth home run.

Elsewhere, reigning PL champion Orix Buffaloes defeated the league-leading Rakuten Eagles 6-1 to complete a three-game win, while the Seibu Lions defeated the Nippon Ham Fighters 3-0, with Dietrich Enns (3-2) seven shutouts scored innings.

The Central League leaders Yakult Swallows defeated the DeNA BayStars 5-3, while the Hanshin Tigers defeated second-place Yomiuri Giants 4-0 after Masashi Ito’s eight-goal shutout (1-1). The Hiroshima Carp defeated the Chunichi Dragons 1-0.

Sunday’s league games were the last before the start of interleague play, which runs from Tuesday to mid-June, when each club will play a three-game series against each of the six clubs in the opposing league.

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