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Maeda leads way as Carp snap four-game skid

Kyodo

Kenta Maeda kept the damage to a minimum by yielding one run over eight strong innings as the Hiroshima Carp staved off the Chunichi Dragons 3-1 to snap a four-game losing streak on Saturday.

The Carp, who dropped into third place a day earlier behind the second-place Hanshin Tigers, finished the first half of the season with a record of 41-36 — the team’s first winning record before the All-Star break in 12 years.

Maeda (9-4) struck out eight, walked one and hit a batsman. Kam Mickolio finished up in the ninth to pick up his 15th save. Chunichi starter Daisuke Yamai (7-1) took the loss.

Yoshihiro Maru opened the scoring with a sharp comebacker to the mound for a 1-0 lead in the third and Kila Ka’aihue chipped in with an RBI single in a two-run eighth.

Yohei Oshima cut Hiroshima’s lead with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, but it was too little, too late for the Dragons.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Buffaloes 3, Lions 2 (12)

At Seibu Dome, Keiichi Hirano broke a 2-2 tie with his RBI single with one out in the 12th inning and Motoki Higa (5-0) tossed 1⅔ scoreless innings in relief for Orix’s win over Fukuoka Softbank. The Lions tied it on Hichori Morimoto’s two-out, ninth-inning single.

Marines 7, Eagles 5

At Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Tadahito Iguchi hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer off Manabu Mima (2-9) in the fifth inning and Chiba Lotte piled on insurance with a three-run eighth, featuring Chad Huffman’s two-run double, to edge Tohoku Rakuten. Takahiro Fujioka (5-5) allowed three runs in seven-plus innings for his first win since June 11.

Hawks 4, Fighters 2

At Sapporo Dome, Fukuoka Softbank tied it 2-2 on a passed ball in the seventh inning and Yuichi Honda and pinch hitter Nobuhiko Matsunaka gave their team the lead with an RBI triple and run-scoring single, respectively. Reliever Yuito Mori (1-0) got his first career win.