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Kintetsu slugger Tuffy Rhodes smashed two homers and drove home six runs to lead the Buffaloes’ 16-hit barrage as Kintetsu destroyed the Seibu Lions 14-3 at Osaka Dome on Tuesday.

Rhodes connected for two three-run clouts — in the first and fourth innings off Lions starter Fumiya Nishiguchi (3-3) for his league-leading 16th and 17th homers of the year.

Buffs second baseman Osamu Hoshino went 3-for-3 and homered for the third straight game, belting a solo dinger to lead off a four-run third inning.

Shinichi Kato (3-0) had plenty of backup in picking up his third win, allowing one run on four hits over six innings.

Nishiguchi left the mound after 3-1/3 innings, giving up 10 runs on 10 hits in taking his first loss at Osaka Dome.

Marines 6, BlueWave 2

Nathan Minchey (4-3) allowed two runs over 6-1/3 innings and four reliever held Orix scoreless the rest of the way as Lotte won at Yahoo BB Stadium.

Jose Fernandez smacked a solo homer in the Marines’ three-run first inning.

Up 3-2 in the seventh, Takashi Tachikawa belted a solo homer to lead off the inning before Lotte added two more runs in the ninth with Koichi Hori’s solo dinger and an RBI single by Makoto Kosaka.

Hawks 12, Fighters 4

Rookie lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (5-2) held Nippon Ham to four runs over 7-2/3 innings and notched his fifth save as Daiei cruised over the Figthters at Tokyo Dome, wxtending its win streak to six games.

Trailing 2-0 in the third, Noriyoshi Omichi connected for an RBI double to trigger Daiei’s 10-hit, nine-run outburst.

Pedro Valdes slammed a two-run dinger in the third and Daiei wrapped up the scoring with a Bryant Nelson solo homer — his first clout of the season.

Wada gave up eight hits while striking out seven.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Tigers 4, Carp 3

Shinjiro Hiyama singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth as Hanshin edged Hiroshima at Koshien Stadium for its third straight win.

The Tigers now have a comfortable 6-1/2 game lead over the Carp, who stand in second place percentage points above Yakult and Chunichi.

Jimmy Hurst doubled home two runs in the top of the sixth to give Hiroshima a 3-2 lead. However, in the bottom of the frame, Norihiro Akahoshi tripled to bring home the game-tying run from first before Hiyama hit an RBI single for the go-ahead run.

Lefty Kei Igawa (6-3) allowed two earned runs on six hits over seven innings for the win and closer Jeff Williams pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save.

Swallows 4, Giants 1

Lefty Masanori Ishikawa (3-3) — 2002 Rookie of the Year — tossed four-hit ball while striking out eight for the win as Yakult beat Yomiuri at Fukuoka Dome.

Ishikawa went the distance on 114 pitches, allowing one run and walking none.

Tied 0-0 in the fifth, Noriyuki Shiroishi hit an RBI double to break the deadlock and the Swallows added two more runs with an RBI single by Shinya Miyamoto and a sacrifice fly by Todd Betts.

Hiroki Sanada (1-4) was tagged with the loss, giving up three runs on seven hits over five innings as Yomiuri fell to its third straight loss.

Dragons at BayStars — ppd.

College tour called off

The Japan University Baseball Federation decided Monday not to send players to next month’s Japan-U.S. collegiate baseball series in the United States chiefly for security concerns.

According to the federation, it cited potential dangers like terrorism in the aftermath of the recent U.S.-led war against Iraq as the main reason for the cancellation, saying it will seek the understanding of the U.S. in a letter.

If canceled, it will be the first time the annual collegiate series has been called off since its inception in 1972. The event has basically been held alternately between the two countries. This year’s series are to start late next month in North Carolina.

Motoki Otake, head of the federation, said, “While there is little possibility of an incident (terrorism) occurring, we have come to the conclusion that we will not send players, given current circumstances (in the United States).”

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