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Kazuyoshi Tatsunami went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Shigeki Noguchi hurled five-hit ball in seven-plus innings as the Chunichi Dragons downed the front-running Hanshin Tigers 6-1 in the Central League on Wednesday at Nagoya Dome.

While Hanshin took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on Makoto Imaoka’s solo homer, the home team quickly tied the score in the bottom of that frame by taking advantage of a throwing error and went ahead at 3-1 on Tatsunami’s two-run timely single.

The Dragons added three more runs the rest of the way, including solo blasts by Tatsunami in the fifth and Takayuki Onishi in the seventh.

Noguchi (2-1) put Hanshin batters constantly off balance by mixing fast balls with effective sliders as he fanned 10 and walked two. Hanshin starter Keiichi Yabu (2-2) took the loss.

Giants 7, Swallows 5

At Jingu Stadium, Hisanori Takahashi (1-3) went the distance on 135 pitches and celebrated his first win of the season with a two-run single during a six-run fifth as Yomiuri beat Yakult.

Tied at 5-5, Takahashi hit a bloop single off reliever Ryu Kawabata to center to put Yomiuri ahead at 7-5 to stay.

Carp 8, BayStars 5

At Yokohama Stadium, Andy Sheets hit a go-ahead single in the four-run eighth and Toshikazu Sawazaki (2-0) pitched 1-1/3 innings of perfect relief as the Hiroshima outslugged the BayStars.

Giants pitcher Kuwata off roster

Yomiuri Giants pitcher Masumi Kuwata will be removed from the active roster on Thursday due to a left ankle injury, Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara said Wednesday.

The 35-year-old right-hander first hurt the ankle in an April 29 game against the Hanshin Tigers and worsened it in Tuesday’s game against the Yakult Swallows.

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