George Arias blasted a grand slam to highlight a nine-run second inning as the Hanshin Tigers scored a season-high 11 runs to defeat the Yakult Swallows 11-6 on Friday at Koshien Stadium.

Central League
WonLostTiedPct.GBHanshin 15 6 1 .714 -Hiroshima 11 9 1 .550 3.5Yomiuri 11 10 0 .524 4.0Yakult 11 12 0 .478 5.0Chunichi 9 11 1 .450 5.5Yokohama 6 15 1 .286 9.0Pacific League
WonLostTiedPct.GBDaiei 14 7 1 .667 -Seibu 12 7 1 .632 1.0Nippon Ham 10 11 0 .476 4.0Orix 10 11 0 .476 4.0Kintetsu 8 12 1 .400 5.5Lotte 7 13 1 .350 6.5

It was Hanshin’s third consecutive win.

Arias, who hit three home runs the previous night, leads the Central League with nine roundtrippers.

Hanshin starter Kei Igawa (4-1) scattered eight hits and struck out eight over seven innings.

With the Swallows up 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Igawa hit a bases-loaded single to tie the score. Makoto Imaoka then singled home two runs to break the tie. The Tigers widened their lead on Atsushi Kataoka’s run-scoring single and Shinjiro Hiyama’s RBI double before Arias nailed his four-bagger.

BayStars 4, Giants 2

Second-year pitcher Yuji Yoshimi allowed six hits over 8 2/3 innings to pick up his first career victory in his first start this season, pacing Yokohama over Yomiuri at the Tokyo Dome.

Yoshimi used a combination of fastballs and change-ups to shut down the heavily loaded Giants batting lineup. He gave up a two-run homer to Tomohiro Nioka after two outs in the ninth to miss out on a shutout victory.

Takashi Saito retired the last batter to send the Giants to their second straight loss.


BlueWave 5, Hawks 2

Scott Sheldon singled home the game-tying run and Takeshi Hidaka belted the winning two-run clout off Rodney Pedraza in a four-run ninth inning as Orix came from behind to beat Daiei at Kitakyushu Stadium.

Despite earning no decision, Orix starter Koo Dae Sung pitched well, giving up two runs on nine hits and fanning eight over 6 1/3 innings.

Marines 2, Buffaloes 1

Kosuke Kato (2-3) allowed three hits and struck out six over 5 2/3 innings and Koichi Hori hit a solo homer as Lotte ended its 13-game losing skid against Kintetsu at the Osaka Dome.

It was the Buffaloes’s fifth defeat in a row.

Lions 8, Fighters 7

Hiroyuki Takagi singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, leading Seibu to a “sayonara” victory over Nippon Ham at the Seibu Dome.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tetsuya Kakiuchi walked and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch by Nippon Ham reliever Kiyoshi Sasaki. Takagi singled to left to win a 28-hit slugfest.

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