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Tanaka, Fighters end six-game losing streak

Kyodo

Kensuke Tanaka homered and drove in three runs Wednesday as the influenza-hit Nippon Ham Fighters snapped a season-worst six-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over the Orix Buffaloes.

Tanaka hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the second inning and added a solo home run in the sixth off Kazuki Kondo (7-8) at Skymark Stadium.

Keisaku Itokazu (2-4) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings.

“I was determined to end the team’s losing streak,” Itokazu said. “I had a shaky first inning but settled down. I pitched carefully to keep the damage to a minimum. I’ll try to improve my win-loss record to 4-4.”

Atsunori Inaba drove in a run for the first time in seven games with a fourth-inning double. Takahiro Okada had a solo homer in the ninth for Orix.

Marines 2, Hawks 1

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Toshiaki Imae hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning as the only hit for Chiba Lotte on the night proved enough to beat Fukuoka Softbank.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi (3-11) pitched eight innings of one-run ball, striking out 12 and allowing just four hits. Brian Sikorski picked up his 10th save.

Yasushi Kamiuchi (2-3) took the loss. Kenji Akashi hit his first career home run with a solo shot in the sixth.

Eagles 6, Lions 0

At Seibu Dome, Satoshi Nagai threw a two-hitter for his second shutout of the season and Teppei Tsuchiya drove in three runs as Tohoku Rakuten moved into third place with a win over Saitama Seibu.

Todd Linden got the Eagles on the board with an RBI double off Kazuhisa Ishii (6-8) in the third inning. Tsuchiya added a run-scoring triple in the eighth and a two-run triple in the ninth.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 7, Dragons 4

At Nagoya Dome, Alex Ramirez had four hits for the second straight night as Yomiuri beat Chunichi for its fourth straight victory.

Ramirez went 4-for-4 with a two-run shot in the first inning and an RBI double in the seventh, both off Yudai Kawai (11-3).

Shun Tono (7-6) won his third straight start after allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings. Masahiko Morino, Lee Byung Kyu and Ryosuke Hirata homered for the Dragons.

Tigers 9, BayStars 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Craig Brazell homered twice in a nine-run fifth as Hanshin extended its winning streak to four games with a rout of Yokohama.

Carp 11, Swallows 1

At Mazda Stadium, Andy Phillips and Kenta Kurihara homered and drove in four runs each and Kenta Maeda threw his third complete game of the season as Hiroshima routed Tokyo Yakult to snap a three-game losing skid.

Phillips hit a two-run blast and a two-run double in his first two at-bats, helping the Carp build a 6-0 lead. Kurihara had an RBI single in the second and a three-run shot in the fourth.