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Fighters’ Darvish earns fourth win

Kyodo

Terrmel Sledge hit a go-ahead homer and Yu Darvish struck out 10 in his third complete game of the season Friday as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Softbank Hawks 3-1 for their first win in five games in the Pacific League.

Sledge connected off Toshiya Sugiuchi (1-2) for a shot to right that broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning before Shinji Takahashi increased the lead with an RBI single in the eighth at Sapporo Dome.

Darvish (4-0) allowed an unearned run on a first-inning RBI single by Hiroshi Shibahara but settled down to pitch a three-hitter with no walks. He retired the final 16 batters he faced en route to lowering his ERA to a league-leading 0.42.

Atsunori Inaba hit a game-tying RBI double in the third for the Fighters, who ended their four-game winless streak, including one tie.

Sugiuchi struck out 11 over the distance in losing his second straight start.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 5, Carp 1

At Hiroshima Stadium, Yoshiyuki Kamei hit a two-run triple in a three-run fourth inning and Hisanori Takahashi won his first decision this season as Yomiuri handed Hiroshima its fourth defeat in a row.

The Giants got on the board on a two-out error by Carpleft fielder Soichiro Amaya, followed by Kamei’s clutch hitting, before seventh-inning RBI hits from Shigeyuki Furuki and Hayato Sakamoto capped the scoring.

Opening-day starter Takahashi (1-2) held the Carp to a run on five hits, including a Kenta Kurihara RBI single in the fourth, in 5 1/3 innings of work.

Tigers 6, Swallows 2

At Tokyo’s Jingu Staduim, Takashi Toritani and Akihiro Yano hit back-to-back RBI hits in the fifth inning and CL leader Hanshin went on to beat Tokyo Yakult to stretch its winning streak to five games.

Dragons at ‘Stars — ppd.