Tuffy Rhodes and Norihiro Nakamura hit back-to-back RBI singles for the go-ahead runs in the second inning and the Kintetsu Buffaloes added a run in the eighth as they beat the Seibu Lions 5-3 at the Osaka Dome on Saturday.

Central League
WonLostTiedPct.GBYomiuri 48 30 0 .615 -Yakult 39 35 1 .527 7.0Hiroshima 37 35 2 .514 8.0Hanshin 39 37 1 .513 8.0Chunichi 36 39 1 .480 10.5Yokohama 25 48 1 .342 20.5Pacific League
WonLostTiedPct.GBSeibu 47 26 1 .644 -Kintetsu 41 30 2 .577 5.0Daiei 38 34 1 .528 8.5Nippon Ham 35 38 1 .479 12.0Lotte 28 43 1 .394 18.0Orix 26 44 2 .371 19.5

The Buffaloes won their third straight and are now in second place, five games behind the Pacific League-leading Lions.

Lefty Katsuhiko Maekawa (4-6) held Seibu to three runs over seven innings for his first win since July 1. He gave up seven hits and struck out six.

Tuffy Rhodes went 3-for-3 and singled home his first RBI of the month.

Marines 11, Fighters 8

Lotte designated hitter Derrick May drilled a three-run go-ahead homer and Saburo Omura followed with a solo blast in the eighth inning as the Marines came back from a six-run deficit to beat Nippon Ham at the Tokyo Dome.

Trailing 8-2 in the sixth, Lotte cut the lead to two runs with Tadaharu Sakai’s bases-clearing three-run double and Kazuya Fukuura’s RBI single.

In the following inning, Koichi Hori pulled the Marines to within one run with a solo homer off Fighters hurler Hiroshi Shibakusa (2-2) before May and Omura belted back-to-back homers in the eighth to give Lotte the lead for good.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi (6-3) pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the win, and closer Masahide Kobayashi worked the ninth, striking out three for his 17th save.

Hawks 6, BlueWave 1

Hiroshi Shibahara and Hiroki Kokubo had two RBIs each and Arihito Muramatsu went 4-for-5 to lead Daiei’s 14-hit barrage as the Hawks beat Orix at the Fukuoka Dome.

Daiei starter Keizaburo Tanoue (2-6) limited the BlueWave to one run on six hits over six-plus innings and picked up his first win since April 6.

Shibahara hit a solo homer in the third inning off Orix hurler Hidetaka Kawagoe (3-8) and Pedro Valdes also nailed a solo dinger in the seventh for the Hawks.

Orix third baseman Scott Scheldon, who had homered in five straight games coming into Saturday’s game, went 0-for-4.


Giants 4, Dragons 2

Koji Uehara pitched seven solid innings and helped his own cause with a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the sixth as Yomiuri downed Chunichi at the Nagoya Dome for their fourth straight win and sixth straight against the Dragons.

Uehara allowed one earned run on six hits and walked none to notch his 11th win against three losses. Junichi Kawahara worked the ninth and earned his 16th save.

Up 3-2 in the seventh, Nioka, who singled home a run in the fifth, homered for the third straight night — a solo dinger — to make his home run total to 12.

BayStars 9, Tigers 6

Hitoshi Taneda cracked a bases-clearing three-run double to spark Yokohama’s go-ahead sixth-run sixth-inning burst as the BayStars came from behind to beat Hanshin at Yokohama Stadium.

Trailing 6-2 in the sixth, after Taneda doubled home three runs, the BayStars tied the game with Takahiro Saeki’s RBI double.

After two outs, Yokohama scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Hanshin hurler Takehito Kanazawa (4-1) and capped the inning with a Boi Rodriguez RBI double.

BayStars reliever Yukiya Yokoyama made his first appearance of the season, pitching two innings for the win.

Closer Takashi Saito came on in the eighth, striking out three in two hitless innings of work to earn his 14th save.

Swallows 0, Carp 0 (12)

Hiroshima squandered a none-out, runner-on-third situation in the eighth and both teams failed to score a run as the game ended a tie after 12 innings at the Sapporo Dome.

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