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Makoto Imaoka hit a go-ahead RBI double in Hanshin’s three-run seventh and added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth as the CL-leading Tigers downed the Yomiuri Giants 6-3 at Koshien Stadium on Sunday.

Tied 2-2 in the seventh with one out, Imaoka nailed a double to left field to bring home the go-ahead run from third.

After two outs with the bases loaded, pinch-hitter Hiroshi Yagi connected for an RBI single. Yomiuri right fielder Yoshinobu Takahashi misfielded the ball during which another Tiger scored to give Hanshin a 5-2 lead.

With the Giants leading 2-0 in the sixth, Tomoaki Kanemoto led off the inning with a solo homer. After two outs, George Arias cracked a solo dinger to tie the game for Hanshin.

Both home runs were off starter Koji Uehara (3-2) who gave up four runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings.

Reliever Shinji Taninaka picked up the win pitching two scoreless innings and closer Jeff Williams earned his 11th save.

Carp 4, Dragons 2
Itsuki Asai pinch-hit an infield single to bring home the go-ahead run in the seventh and Hiroshima added another run on a fielding error as the Carp beat Chunichi at Nagoya Dome to extend their win streak against the Dragons to seven games.

Koichi Amano pitched 1 1/3 in relief and picked up his first career win and rookie closer Katsuhiro Nagakawa pitched the final two innings for his ninth save.

BayStars 7, Swallows 3
Tyrone Woods belted a grand slam in the third for his 15th homer of the year and starter Takashi Saito (2-3) held Yakult to two runs over six solid innings as Yokohama downed the Swallows at Jingu Stadium.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 2, Lions 1
Second-year lefty Toshiya Sugiuchi (3-4) scattered three hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out six and picked up his first career win against a team other than the Lotte Marines as Daiei edged Seibu at Sapporo Dome to keep sole possession of the Pacific League lead.

Daiei did all its scoring in the first inning. With one out, Hiroshi Shibahara got on base with a single and Tadahito Iguchi followed with a two-run homer off Seibu starter Mitsutaka Goto (2-4) for the lead.

In the ninth, the Lions loaded the bases with a single and two walks off Daiei closer Matt Skrmetta before Hiroyuki Takagi singled home a run to cut the lead to one run, but Skrmetta struck out followup Kazuo Matsui for the final out and earned his eighth save.

Buffaloes 8, Marines 1
Hiroki Yamamura (1-3) tossed six-hit ball over eight innings for his first win since September 2001 as Kintetsu shipped Lotte at Osaka Dome.

Buffaloes first baseman Hirotoshi Kitagawa went 3-for-3 and blasted a three-run homer in a four-run third inning.

Fighters 8, BlueWave 5
Kuniyuki Kimoto smashed a go-ahead grand slam off Orix starter Masato Yoshii (1-5) in the third inning to lift Nippon Ham over the BlueWave at Tokyo Dome.

Orix lost its 17th straight Sunday game.

SARS hits plans

The Seibu Lions and the Daiei Hawks will not be staying at the Miyako Hotel Osaka on their next road trips after receiving news that a guest came down with a fever possibly linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), officials of the Pacific League clubs said Sunday.

Seibu and Daiei usually stay at the hotel in Osaka’s Tennoji Ward but will temporarily seek other accommodation within the city to ensure the health and safety of the players.

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