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Offense powers Fighters in romp over Hawks

Kyodo

Eiichi Koyano drove in three runs and Atsunori Inaba and Yoshio Itoi had two RBIs apiece as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters routed the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 9-3 to win their fifth game in a row on Wednesday.

Inaba opened the scoring in the first inning against Hideaki Takahashi (2-2) with an RBI double and had a run-scoring single in a five-run fourth, which featured Itoi’s two-run homer at Kitakyushu Stadium. The Fighters banged out 12 hits and scored nine runs through the fourth inning.

Ryo Sakakibara (3-0) won in relief. Kensuke Tanaka extended his hitting streak to 22 games in a 3-for-5 outing. Nobuhiko Matsunaka had a leadoff shot and Roberto Petagine added a two-run drive in the fourth for Softbank.

Eagles 10, Lions 8

Buffaloes at Marines — ppd.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Dragons 4, BayStars 2

At Toyohashi Stadium, Masahiko Morino and Kazuhiro Wada hit back-to-back home runs for the second night in a row, leading Chunichi past Yokohama.

Morino’s leadoff homer broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning and Wada followed with a blast of his own before Motonobu Tanishige added an RBI single to cap a three-run frame.

Daisuke Yamai (2-2) pitched seven innings of one-run ball. Hitoki Iwase earned his 253rd career save, breaking a tie with former BayStars closer Kazuhiro Sasaki for second on the all-time list. Rookie Shigeru Kaga (2-5) took the loss.

Swallows 4, Giants 3

At Jingu Stadium, three Swallows relievers pitched a perfect inning apiece as Tokyo Yakult edged Yomiuri.

Yakult turned a 3-1 deficit into a one-run lead in the fourth inning on RBI singles from Ryoji Aikawa and Shinya Miyamoto and a run-scoring error by first baseman Yoshinobu Takahashi.

Shohei Tateyama (4-5) allowed three runs in six innings for the win. Lim Chang Yong picked up his 12th save. Kentaro Nishimura (4-5) lasted only three-plus innings.

Tigers 9, Carp 4

At Yonago Stadium, Matt Murton went 4-for-5 with four RBIs, Takashi Toritani also collected four hits and Hanshin handed Hiroshima its third consecutive loss.

Murton had a two-run single, an RBI double and a run-scoring single as the Tigers pounded out 15 hits at Yonago Stadium.

Jason Standridge (3-1) held the Carp to two runs in six innings.