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Seibu slugger Alex Cabrera hammered a couple of solo homers, in the fourth and the sixth innings, to improve his tally to 47 as the Lions edged the Nippon Ham Fighters 7-6 at the Tokyo Dome on Thursday night.

Cabrera is now just eight short of the Japanese pro baseball single-season home-run record of 55, shared by Tuffy Rhodes and Sadaharu Oh.

Tom Evans hit a game-tying single in the sixth and Hiroshi Hirao singled in a tie-breaking run in the eighth, helping Seibu cut its PL pennant-clinching magic number to 14.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Swallows 4, Giants 3
Alex Ramirez drove in the game-tying run in the fifth inning and then singled in the winning run in the seventh as Yakult beat Yomiuri at the Osaka Dome.

With the win, Yakult ended its losing streak at three and kept Yomiuri’s pennant-clinching magic number at 18.

Kevin Hodges (15-5) overcame a sluggish start to scatter seven hits over six innings for the win. Closer Shingo Takatsu got his 28th save.

BayStars 4, Dragons 1
Domingo Guzman (3-3) went the distance, giving up one run on three hits, to help Yokohama snap its losing streak at four with a win over Chunichi at Yokohama Stadium.

Kazunori Tanaka hit an RBI single in the third, Boi Rodriguez belted a solo homer in the fourth and Hitoshi Taneda drove in two runs with a single in the fifth.

Carp 6, Tigers 3
Itsuki Arai singled in a tie-breaking run in the fifth inning and Tomoaki Kanemoto hit a base-clearing single in the sixth inning, carrying Hiroshima over Hanshin at Hiroshima Stadium.

Yasushi Tsuruta earned his fourth decision after giving up three runs on four hits over five innings. Yasuhiro Oyamada took over in the ninth to get his 26th save.

Matsui honored

Chunichi Dragons right-hander Kenshin Kawakami and Yomiuri Giants slugger Hideki Matsui on Wednesday received the Central League’s monthly honors for August.

Kawakami was named the CL’s top pitcher after going 4-1 with a 2.22 ERA in six starts, including a no-hitter against Yomiuri on Aug. 1, while Matsui became the league’s Player of the Month for the second straight month with 13 homers and 25 RBIs in August.

The Pacific League selected Alex Cabrera and Fumiya Nishiguchi as its Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, after they helped the front-running Seibu Lions solidify their lead in the pennant race.

Cabrera hit .442 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs in August.

Nishiguchi had a 4-0 record and a 1.52 ERA in four starts.

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