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Johjima supplies big blast in Tigers’ triumph

Kyodo

Kenji Johjima hit a two-run homer to highlight a five-run eighth inning as the Hanshin Tigers rallied past the Chunichi Dragons for a 5-1 victory on Thursday.

The Tigers chipped away at Kazuki Yoshimi (7-4), who had held batters to just three hits over seven shutout innings before the meltdown in the decisive frame at Koshien Stadium.

Hanshin strung together four consecutive hits with one out, including Matt Murton’s tying single and Takahiro Arai’s two-run single that made it 3-1. Johjima capped the inning with a blast over the left-field wall.

Ken Nishimura (5-1) won in relief of Yuya Ando, who threw one-run ball over seven innings. Tony Blanco had a leadoff shot in the second to give Chunichi a 1-0 lead.

Carp 5, Giants 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Kenta Maeda pitched his third complete game of the year as Hiroshima beat Yomiuri for the first time this season and avoided a three-game sweep.

Maeda (10-3) yielded four hits, struck out eight and walked none and put himself in a tie for the most wins in the Central league.

Masato Akamatsu and Shigenobu Shima had an RBI triple and a run-scoring single to make it 2-0 in the first against Tetsuya Utsumi (7-3) and Justin Huber added an RBI double in the fourth, also off the lefty. Hayato Sakamoto hit a sac fly for the Giants in the sixth.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Buffaloes 10, Eagles 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Alex Cabrera homered twice and drove in six runs, Chihiro Kaneko pitched his third shutout of the season and Orix routed Tohoku Rakuten.

Cabrera had an RBI double in the first inning, a two-run shot in the sixth and a three-run blast in the seventh. Takahiro Okada also went deep twice, both solo shots, and Takeshi Hidaka added a two-run homer.

Marines 7, Hawks 2

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Shunsuke Watanabe got plenty of run support and threw his second complete game of the season as Chiba Lotte downed Fukuoka Softbank.

Watanabe (6-3) allowed eight hits and struck out five. Tadahiro Iguchi hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Kim Tae Kyun singled in two runs in a four-run fourth.

Fighters 9, Lions 7

At Seibu Dome, Kensuke Tanaka and Yang Dai-kang drove in five runs between them as Hokkaido Nippon Ham rallied to beat Saitama Seibu for its sixth consecutive win.

Tanaka’s three-run homer pulled Nippon Ham within 5-4 in the fourth inning. Yang delivered a game-tying infield single, his third hit of the night, in the seventh and drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth.