Yokohama hammered out three homers and Chris Holt struck out seven over seven steady innings Friday as the BayStars sent the Hanshin Tigers to their eighth loss in a row with a 7-4 win at the Osaka Dome.

Central League
WonLostTiedPct.GBYomiuri 38 26 0 .594 -Yakult 34 28 0 .548 3.0Chunichi 32 31 1 .508 5.5Hanshin 32 31 1 .508 5.5Hiroshima 29 30 1 .492 6.5Yokohama 21 40 1 .344 15.5Pacific League
WonLostTiedPct.GBSeibu 39 22 1 .639 -Kintetsu 35 24 1 .593 3.0Daiei 31 28 1 .525 7.0Nippon Ham 31 31 0 .500 8.5Orix 23 38 0 .377 16.0Lotte 21 37 1 .362 16.5

Ernie Young led off the homer hit-parade with a solo blast in the second inning of the Central League contest and Takahiro Saeki broke the game open with a three-run clout in the fourth for Yokohama.

Holt (3-1) held Hanshin to four runs on seven hits and a walk for the win while closer Takashi Saito struck out the side in the ninth for his 12th save of the season.

Hanshin, which opened the season with a seven-game winning streak, lost its eighth in a row for the first time since August 2000.

Giants 4, Swallows 3

At Jingu Stadium, Toshihisa Nishi capped a four-run first inning with a two-run triple and three Yomiuri pitchers made it stand for the Giants, who held on for the win over host Yakult.

Roberto Petagine hit a pair of solo homers for the Swallows and Akinori Iwamura added a solo shot in the ninth, but it was not enough to preserve Yakult’s three-game winning streak.

Southpaw Hisanori Takahashi (6-1) fanned seven in 6 1/3 innings and picked up the win.

Carp 8, Dragons 7

At the Nagoya Dome, substitute catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as Hiroshima overcame seven Chunichi runs in the first two innings to take the win.

Kazuyoshi Tatsunami hit a grand slam homer in the first inning and connected for a bases-loaded double in the second to drive in all seven of the Dragons’ runs.


Fighters 2, Lions 1

Makoto Kaneko singled with the bases loaded in the ninth inning for Nippon Ham’s third “sayonara” win of the season as the Fighters knocked off front-running Seibu at the Tokyo Dome.

Itsuki Shoda allowed only three hits and an unearned run over eight innings, but Hiroshi Shibakusa (1-1) picked up the win after pitching a scoreless ninth for the Fighters, who have won four straight.

Hawks 5, Buffaloes 2

At the Fukuoka Dome, Hiroki Kokubo hit a grand slam homer in Daiei’s five-run third inning and the Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Kintetsu.

Right-hander Kenichi Wakatabe (4-0) went the distance on 128 pitches, holding the Buffaloes to two runs on seven hits as Kintetsu lost its third in a row.

Marines 2, BlueWave 0

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Shingo Ono shut out Orix on three hits over eight-plus innings and Masahide Kobayashi got the final three outs on three pitches as Lotte posted its third win in a row.

Koichi Hori singled with the bases loaded in the first inning to drive in the game’s only runs.

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