• Kyodo


Masayuki Hasegawa wielded a crisp fastball and a baffling forkball over the distance Monday as the Hiroshima Carp eased past the error-prone Yomiuri Giants 5-2 in the Central League.

Hasegawa (5-2) held the front-running Giants to two runs on seven hits while striking out five at the Sapporo Dome for his first complete-game victory over the Giants, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Hiroshima put runners on first and second with one out in the second inning and grabbed a 2-1 lead on the first two of Yomiuri’s four errors in the game.

The Carp added two more runs in the eighth against Yomiuri starter Masumi Kuwata (3-5) and another in the ninth before Hideki Matsui pulled one back for the host Giants with a solo homer in the bottom of the frame.

Dragons 11, BayStars 6
In Yokohama, Chunichi rallied for five runs with two outs in the ninth inning to beat Yokohama and move into a share of third place with the Hanshin Tigers in the CL standings.

Leo Gomez belted a three-run homer in the eighth inning for Chunichi and little-used Hidenori Kuramoto hit a two-run homer to cap the Dragons’ ninth.

Ernie Young hit a pair of homers for Yokohama, including a three-run blast in the eighth inning that tied the score 6-6.

Tigers vs. Swallows — ppd.


Lions 6, BlueWave 4
At the Seibu Dome, veteran catcher Tsutomu Ito singled and doubled and drove in three runs to lift Seibu over Orix.

Ito, in his 21st season with the Lions, doubled home a pair of runs in the sixth inning for a 5-4 lead after Orix had rallied for three runs and a one-run advantage in the top of the inning.

Ito then came back with an RBI single in the eighth to give the Lions an insurance run.

Hayato Aoki picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of relief and Kiyoshi Toyoda struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save of the season.

Marines 5, Buffaloes 3
At the Osaka Dome, second-year southpaw Kosuke Kato allowed only three hits through seven shutout innings as Chiba Lotte held on to beat Kintetsu.

Tuffy Rhodes connected for his league-leading 28th homer of the season — a three-run blast in the eighth inning — but Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Masahide Kobayashi came on to notch the final five outs and preserve the win.

Abe out of action

Yomiuri Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe was diagnosed with a bruised left thigh after undergoing an examination at a Sapporo hospital Monday, officials of the Central League club said.

Club officials originally thought Abe had injured his left knee after a collision at the plate Monday when Hiroshima Carp runner Kazuki Fukuchi made a hard slide at home as the Yomiuri catcher blocked the plate in the eighth inning at the Sapporo Dome.

Club officials said they plan to take Abe off the 28-man active roster Tuesday, adding that it will be three weeks before the catcher can resume training.

Outfielder Takahiro Suzuki will also be removed from the first team’s roster while catchers Kohei Oda and Ken Kato will be called up from the farm team.

Yoshida finally free

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Daiei Hawks left-hander Shuji Yoshida has qualified to become a free agent at the end of the season, the Pacific League club said Monday.

Yoshida, who has made over 50 mound appearances for the last four years since 1998, has a 4-1 record in 27 games this season as one of the Hawks’ essential middle relievers.

“The (free agent) system was created when I was still on the farm team and I never thought that I’d have the right to free agency. I’m not thinking about doing anything right now but concentrating on this season,” Yoshida said.

Shimizu off roster

CHIBA (Kyodo) Lotte catcher Masaumi Shimizu was removed from the Marines’ 28-man active roster on Monday after sustaining an injury to his left index finger the day before, officials of the Pacific League club said.

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