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Yoshinobu Takahashi singled home the go-ahead run in the fifth and Yomiuri slugger Hideki Matsui drilled a two-run homer in the eighth as the Central League-leading Giants won the first of a three-game series against the Hanshin Tigers 4-1 at the Tokyo Dome on Friday.

Lefty Hisanori Takahashi scattered two hits over seven innings, allowing one run on a solo homer by Osamu Hamanaka in the second inning, to pick up his seventh win against one loss.

Closer Junichi Kawahara worked the ninth and notched his 15th save as the Giants won their fourth straight.

With Hanshin up 1-0 in the second, Toshihisa Nishi hit a sacrifice fly to bring home the game-tying run.

After Yomiuri went ahead with Takahashi’s RBI single, Matsui cracked his 17th homer of the year — off Tigers reliever Shoji Toyama — for insurance.

Hanshin lefty Trey Moore (6-6) was saddled with the loss despite allowing only two runs — one earned — on three hits over 6 2/3 innings.

The Tigers fell to fourth place for the first time this season.

Carp 6, Swallows 5
Koichi Ogata slammed a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh inning as Hiroshima won a seesaw battle against Yakult at Hiroshima Stadium.

With the Swallows leading 5-4 in the fifth, Tomoaki Kanemoto hit an RBI single with two outs and runner on third to tie the game for the Carp.

Swallows reliever Ryu Kawabata, who gave up the go-ahead homer, took the loss.

Hiroshima starter Ken Takahashi (7-6) picked up the win despite allowing five runs on 10 hits over seven innings.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Lions 6, Buffaloes 5
Alex Cabrera homered in back-to-back at-bats and helped PL-leader Seibu edge second-place Kintetsu at the Sapporo Dome.

Cabrera smashed a two-run dinger in the first inning, homering for the third straight game, and belted another two-run homer to cap the Lions’ three-run third.

Hawks 8, Marines 3
Daiei cleanup Hiroki Kokubo drove home four runs and hit a two-run homer in the third inning as the Hawks beat Lotte at the Fukuoka Dome.

Second-year hurler Akichika Yamada (5-5) held the Marines to three runs over five-plus innings and picked up his first win in two months. Three relievers blanked Lotte the rest of the way.

Gomez told to rest

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Puerto Rican slugger Leo Gomez was diagnosed with an inflammation in his right knee and was told he would need three days of rest, officials of the Chunichi Dragons said Friday.

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