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Kiyohara’s homers put him one away from 500

The Associated Press

Kazuhiro Koyohara hit a pair of homers and Koji Uehara went eight solid innings Wednesday as the Yomiuri Giants downed the Hanshin Tigers 9-0.

News photo WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="196"/>Yomiuri starter Koji Uehara fires a pitch against Hanshin on Wednesday at Tokyo Dome. Uehara scattered six hits over eight innings as the Giants beat the Tigers 9-0.

Kiyohara gave the Giants a 2-0 lead in the first inning at Tokyo Dome with his sixth home run of the season. The veteran slugger then added a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth and needs just one more to reach 500 career homers.

“I wasn’t thinking about personal stats,” said Kiyohara.

“This is an important series for us. We lost the first game yesterday and I was more concerned with getting the team off to a good start.”

Hiroki Kokubo drove in a run in the first inning with a single up the middle as the Giants got to Hanshin ace Shinobu Fukuhara to take an early 3-0 lead.

Fukuhara took the loss after giving up three runs on six hits over five innings.

Uehara struck out seven and gave up six hits over eight innings to pick up his third win of the season.

“It really helped getting an early lead,” said Uehara. “That allowed me to relax on the mound and our hitters did a great job today and made it easy for me.”

Dragons 3, Carp 2

At Hiroshima Stadium, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled in a run in the top of the ninth to lift league-leading Chunichi over the Carp.

Shinya Okamoto picked up the win after working a scoreless eighth and Hitoki Iwase retired the side in the ninth for the save.

Swallows vs. BayStars — ppd.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 8, Buffaloes 3

At Yahoo Dome, Nobuhiko Matsunaka went 2-for-3 and hit a grand slam to lead front-running Softbank past Orix.