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Yoshikawa leads Fighters past Buffaloes

Kyodo

Lefty Mitsuo Yoshikawa pitched into the eighth inning and struck out nine en route to winning his first decision since June 28 in the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters’ 3-0 win over the Orix Buffaloes on Sunday afternoon.

The Fighters, who have struggled all season and are currently in fifth place, extended their unbeaten run to six games, a string that included a sweep of the Pacific League-leading Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and Saturday’s tie against Orix.

Yoshikawa (7-11), last season’s PL MVP, entered the game having lost his previous six starts. He scattered four hits, all singles, while issuing two walks over 7⅔ innings. Keiji Obiki had an RBI single and Michel Abreu a two-run double to provide all the run support in the third at Kyocera Dome.

Keisuke Tanimoto got the final out in the eighth, and Hisashi Takeda got Keiichi Hirano to ground out to shortstop, escaping a two-on, two-out jam in the ninth for his 22nd save. Shun Tono (1-3) lasted just 2⅔ innings and suffered the loss.

Eagles 6, Marines 5

Hawks 5, Lions 2

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Tigers 9, Dragons 4

At Nagoya Dome, Takahiro Arai singled, doubled, homered and drove in five runs as Hanshin bludgeoned a wild Daisuke Yamai (5-5) and Chunichi to move 17 games above .500 for the first time in five years.

Arai hit a two-run single to open the scoring in the first, added a two-run double when the Tigers batted around in a six-run second and led off the fifth with his 15th homer. Randy Messenger (11-6) limited the damage to two runs and three hits in six innings.

Giants 16, BayStars 2

Swallows 5, Carp 4