Yomiuri slugger Hideki Matsui belted his 33rd homer of the year and ace Koji Uehara pitched eight solid innings as the Central League-leading Giants beat the Chunichi Dragons 4-1 at the Nagoya Dome on Saturday.

Uehara (15-3) gave up one run on a solo homer by Kosuke Fukudome in the fourth inning, seven hits all together, and walked three. He struck out six in picking up his CL leading 15th win.

Tied 0-0 in the fourth, with none out and runners on first and second, Matsui drilled a three-run homer into the right-field bleachers to grab a share of the lead in the CL home-run race with Roberto Petagine of the Yakult Swallows.

Up 4-1 in the seventh, Uehara cracked a double off the left-field wall to drive home a run from second base.

With the win, the Giants shaved their “magic number” for winning the pennant to 31.

Yomiuri closer Junichi Kawahara pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save.

Dragons lefty Masahiro Yamamoto (4-6) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits over four innings of work.

Chunichi’s win streak came to a halt at six.

Swallows 3, Tigers 2 (11)

Tomohito Yoneno singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the eleventh as Yakult beat Hanshin with a “sayonara” victory at Jingu Stadium.

The Tigers got on the scoreboard first with Koji Hirashita’s two-run dinger in the first inning off Swallows starter Yuya Kamada.

In the seventh, the Swallows loaded the bases on three walks before Atsuya Furuta and Katsuyuki Dobashi hit back-to-back RBI singles to tie the game.

Ryu Kawabata (3-2) pitched a scoreless 11th for the win.

Carp 7, BayStars 6 (10)

Kenjiro Nomura hit a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning and Hiroshima came back from a 6-1 deficit to beat Yokohama at Yokohama Stadium.

Down 6-1 in the eighth, Tomonori Maeda belted a three-run roundtripper to highlight a four-run inning.

In the ninth, Takahiro Arai smacked an RBI single to tie the game at 6-6.


Marines 2, Fighters 1

Takashi Tachikawa singled home the tie-breaking run in the top of the ninth as Lotte edged Nippon Ham at the Tokyo Dome.

Fighters hurler Carlos Mirabal (9-5) went the distance, holding Lotte to two runs on six hits in a losing effort.

Marines lefty Takashi Kawai (3-1) struck out one batter in relief for the win, and closer Masahide Kobayashi worked the ninth for his 23rd save.

Hawks 3, BlueWave 1

Kazumi Saito combined with closer Rodney Pedraza for a four-hitter and picked up his second win in as many appearances as Daiei beat Orix at the Fukuoka Dome.

Saito struck out eight and walked three in eight innings. He allowed one run on three hits.

Pedraza pitched the ninth and allowed one hit but earned his 20th save.

Daiei took the lead in the third with catcher Kenji Jojima’s solo homer off BlueWave starter Koo Dae Sung to lead off the inning. In the sixth, Orix tied the game with Yoshitomo Tani’s RBI single up the middle.

With one out and a runner on first in the eighth, Hiroki Kokubo doubled home the go-ahead run and Jojima added a run with an RBI single.

Lions 4, Buffaloes 3 (12)

At the Seibu Dome, Hiroshi Hirao singled home the game winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning as Seibu beat Kintetsu.

Trailing the Lions 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Tuffy Rhodes, who hit an RBI single in the third inning, drilled his 39th homer of the year for the game-tying run.

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