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Tanaka blanks Fighters, improves to 12-0

Kyodo

Eagles hurler Masahiro Tanaka scattered four hits, all singles, in another brilliant outing en route to winning his 12th consecutive decision since the beginning of the season and recorded his second shutout this year.

Tohoku Rakuten defeated the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 5-0 on Tuesday night at Tokyo Dome.

Casey McGhee homered, a two-run blast off the top of billboard in left in the third for his 17th homer, and drove in three runs, and Hiroaki Shimauchi also went deep with a solo drive. Masaru Takeda (5-5) took the loss for Nippon Ham, which returned to .500.

Hawks 5, Lions 4

At Seibu Dome, Akira Nakamura delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh as Fukuoka Softbank held off Seibu, snapping a two-game skid.

Former major leaguer Ryota Igarashi picked up his first save in Japan in four years.

Yuya Hasegawa hit a three-run drive in the opening frame and Bryan LaHair hit a game-tying solo blast in the fourth. Kazuhisa Makita (4-7) was tagged for five runs in 6 2/3 innings for Seibu, which saw its winning streak snapped at five.

Buffaloes 3, Marines 0

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 6, Swallows 3

At Yamagata, Hayato Sakamoto redeemed himself for a boneheaded play in a big way. The Giants shortstop hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning and captain Shinnosuke Abe did an encore performance with a blast in the next at-bat as the Giants beat Tokyo Yakult.

Central-League leading Yomiuri, which improved to a season-high 19 games above .500, won its first game in Yamagata Prefecture in 59 years.

Rookie Tomoyuki Sugano (8-2) threw three-run ball — two earned — on five hits in seven innings and leads the team in wins. Ryohei Kiya (0-1) was charged with the loss.

Things took a bad turn for the Giants in the sixth, when Kazuhiro Hatakeyama reached as a routine grounder passed through Sakamoto’s legs for an error. Pinch runner Keizo Kawashima stole second and reached third on Shinya Miyamoto’s perfect bunt.

Swallows shortstop Shingo Kawabata, who was sidelined for two months after having bone fragments removed from his left ankle, drew a walk and Ryoji Aikawa hit a line drive to center for a sacrifice fly that tied it 3-3.

After a leadoff single by pinch hitter Yoshiyuki Kamei in the seventh, Yakult skipper Junji Ogawa went with reliever Kentaro Kyuko against the left-hitting John Bowker, getting a strikeout, but Sakamoto went deep to left-center off the left-hander to make it 5-3 in the next at-bat.

Abe, who returned to the starting lineup from pain in his right side and played first base, next hit his 21st homer, a shot over the wall in right, to extend the lead.

Scott Mathieson got a quick out in the eighth but walked the next two batters before getting Wladimir Balentien to hit into a double play to end the threat. Kentaro Nishimura closed for his 21st save, inducing Kawabata’s double play grounder to end the game.

Hatakeyama hit a two-run homer with two outs in the fourth, cutting Yakult’s deficit to 3-2.

Carp 4, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Yusuke Nomura (4-3) threw two-run ball and issued no walks in a shutout for the first time in his career, winning his first decision since June 9 as Hiroshima downed rookie Kazuki Mishima (2-5) and the hosts.

Carp first baseman Kila Ka’aihue, making his first start in Japan, hit a tying homer leading off the sixth and catcher Yoshiyuki Ishihara added a sacrifice fly for the lead. Eishin Soyogi gave his team insurance with a two-run double in the seventh.

Tigers 6, Dragons 2