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Carp ace Maeda beats Giants for 11th victory

Kyodo

Kenta Maeda threw two-run ball over seven innings as the Hiroshima Carp routed the Yomiuri Giants 8-2 for their third straight win on Wednesday.

Maeda (11-3) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked two in driving rain. The right-hander pulled into a tie for the most wins in Japanese baseball with Giants pitcher Shun Tono and Fukuoka Softbank Hawks hurlers Tsuyoshi Wada and Toshiya Sugiuchi.

Hiroshima jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the fourth inning, helped by Akihiro Higashide’s two-run double that keyed a five-run fifth at Hitachinaka Stadium in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Masato Akamatsu led off the fourth with a homer and Justin Huber and Tetsuya Kokubo each had four hits.

Tetsuya Utsumi (7-4) was roughed up for six runs, two earned, in three innings. Hisayoshi Chono went 3-for-4 and hit a solo homer for Yomiuri.

Tigers 3, Swallows 2

At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, pinch hitter Kentaro Sekimoto hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the sixth inning and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi threw two-run ball over six innings as Hanshin beat Tokyo Yakult.

Sekimoto broke a 2-2 tie with a homer off rookie Masato Nakazawa (5-5). Craig Brazell and Kenji Johjima hit back-to-back RBI singles in the third. Kyuji Fujikawa pitched the ninth for his 15th save.

Shimoyanagi (5-4) allowed five hits, struck out four and walked none. Norichika Aoki and Ryoji Aikawa homered for Yakult. Hanshin moved a season-high 11 games above .500.

Dragons at BayStars — ppd.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Fighters 6, Hawks 2

At Tokyo Dome, Makoto Kaneko had a tying RBI single and Kensuke Tanaka followed with a two-run single in a four-run seventh inning as Hokkaido Nippon Ham rallied to beat Fukuoka Softbank.

Kaneko’s single off Tadashi Settsu (3-2) with the bases loaded made it 2-2 before Tanaka gave Nippon Ham the lead for good. Yoshio Itoi had an RBI single among his three hits.

Eagles 6, Marines 4

At Sendai’s Kleenex Stadium, Ryo Hijirisawa hit his career first grand slam in the second inning, lifting Tohoku Rakuten past Chiba Lotte.

After Naoto Watanabe singled in a run to cut the deficit to 3-1, Hijirisawa took Yuta Omine (3-4) on a ride over the right-field wall.

Lions 11, Buffaloes 7

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Dee Brown hit a tying RBI double and Takuya Hara’s bases-clearing double with two outs in the fifth turned the tables as Saitama Seibu downed Orix in a 30-hit slugfest.

With the Lions trailing 7-6, Brown doubled to right to tie it and Hara made it 10-7.