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October Tuesday

Cuban Despaigne still on fire at NPB, but SoftBank's qualification at risk

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 24 (ACN) Cuban slugger Alfredo Despaigne continued today with his good performance in his at-bats, but the champion SoftBank Falcons fell 1-4 to Nippon Ham and their qualification to the postseason in the Pacific zone of the Japanese professional baseball league is complicated.

Despaigne went 2-1, with a single and a walk, and has now had seven games in a row hitting at least one run to raise his average to 257, while left-hander Livan Moinelo allowed a single homer in one inning of relief and his effectiveness rose to 0.68.

With this failure, the Falcons have a record of 49 wins, 51 losses and 19 ties, in fourth place, seven games behind the leader and three games away from the desired third place in the circuit, currently occupied by the Rakuten Eagles (55-51-13).

In the Japanese league, the top three places in the Central and Pacific zones will be discussed for the leadership of each circuit for the Japan Series.

Meanwhile, in another game on Friday, Cuban starter Dayan Viciedo hit two singles in four runs in the Chunichi Dragons' 0-3 loss to the Yakult Swallows at Tokyo's Meiji Jingu Stadium. His average rose to 278.

His compatriot and teammate, catcher Ariel Martinez, failed in a relief appearance to lower his average to 222.
And at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, outfielder Rusney Castillo had two hits in four chances in the Rakuten Eagles' 4-3 win over the Orix Buffaloes. His average rose to 239.

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