Akihiro Yano and Atsushi Kataoka both hit two-run homers Wednesday to power the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers to a 7-1 win over the Hiroshima Carp at Koshien Stadium.

Kataoka connected in the bottom of the second inning off Hiroshima starter Koji Hiroike. Yano drove in two more runs in the sixth before belting his fourth homer of the season in the bottom of the eighth to make it 7-1.

Hanshin starter Keiichi Yabu picked up the win after giving up one run on four hits over seven innings as the Tigers won for the fourth straight time and opened up a seven-game lead in the standings.

Giants 2, Swallows 1

At Fukuoka Dome, Yoshinobu Takahashi belted a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift Yomiuri over Yakult.

Yomiuri starter Hisanori Takahashi gave up five hits over the distance to pick up the win.

The Swallows scored their only run on a bizarre play in the top of the sixth.

With one out and runners on first and second, Yomiuri left fielder Chris Latham caught a Ken Suzuki pop fly and then threw the ball into the stands, thinking there were three out instead of two.

Yakult’s Shinya Miyamoto ran home from second with the tying run as a stunned Latham looked on.

BayStars 11, Dragons 6

In Yokohama, Tyrone Woods and Takanori Suzuki hit two run homers and Shoichi Murata chipped in with a solo shot as Yokohama cruised to a win over Chunichi.


Buffaloes 11, Lions 3

At Osaka Dome, Koichi Isobe belted a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning to power Kintetsu past Seibu.

Tuffy Rhodes, who hit two homers in Tuesday’s 14-3 win, belted his league-leading 18th homer — a two-run blast in the bottom of the first inning.

BlueWave 10, Marines 3

In Kobe, former Texas Rangers infielder Scott Sheldon hit a solo homer as Orix scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning on its way to a victory over Lotte.

Sheldon added another solo homer in the seventh. Takashi Miwa, Ikuro Katsuragi and Roosevelt Brown also homered for the BlueWave.

Hawks 6, Fighters 4

At Tokyo Dome, Brandon Knight, formerly of the New York Yankees, gave up three runs on seven hits over five innings for the win as first-place Daiei defeated Nippon Ham.

Hiroshi Shibahara and Nobuhiko Matsunaka both hit solo homers to lead the Daiei attack.

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