Yomiuri outfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi slammed a two-run homer off Hanshin closer Jeff Williams in the bottom of the ninth, lifting the Giants over the Central League-leading Tigers 4-3 at Tokyo Dome on Sunday for their third “sayonara” win of the year.

Trailing the Tigers 3-2, Tomohiro Nioka led off the ninth inning with an infield single off Williams before Takahashi followed with a towering two-run dinger into the right-field bleachers to end the game.

It was Takahashi’s third career “sayonara” homer and first since September 2000.

Williams suffered his first loss in 24 mound appearances. He has 16 saves.

Tied 1-1 in the fifth, George Arias belted a solo homer to lead off the inning and Hanshin added another run with Makoto Imaoka’s RBI single for a 3-1 lead.

The Giants loaded the bases in the fifth and sixth innings but were unable to bring a runner home until the seventh when Takayuki Saito — who went 3-for-4 — singled home a run to cut Hanshin’s lead to one run.

Giants reliever Hiroki Sanada (2-5) pitched one scoreless inning for the win.

BayStars 5, Carp 3
Katsuaki Furuki nailed a tie-breaking two-run homer in the top of the sixth to lift Yokohama over Hiroshima at Fukushima Azuma Stadium.

Tyrone Woods belted a solo homer in the first inning — his 18th homer of the season — that cleared the stands.

Swallows 4, Dragons 3
Noriyuki Shiroishi ripped a game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the ninth off Chunichi closer Eddie Gaillard as Yakult edged Chunichi with a “sayonara” win at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Trailing the Swallows 2-1 in the top of the ninth, Masahiko Morino singled home the game-tying run before Chunichi scored the go-ahead run on a fielding error.


Fighters 8, BlueWave 0
Hiroyuki Sekine combined with two relievers on a one-hit shutout for his second win as Nippon Ham blanked Orix at Yahoo BB Stadium.

The BlueWave have now lost their 19th straight Sunday game.

Sekine (2-0) tossed one-hit ball over seven innings, walking two and striking out two on 86 pitches.

With two out and two on in the first, Tomochika Tsuboi singled home a run and followup D.T. Cromer tripled to bring home two runs.

In the second, Angel Echevarria belted a two-run homer in off BlueWave starter Masahiro Doi (2-2) to cap a four-run inning as the Fighters jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after two innings.

Nippon Ham added another run in the seventh on a wild pitch.

Lions 6, Buffaloes 1

News photoTuffy Rhodes of the Kintestu Buffaloes hits a solo homer in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game against Seibu at Minami Nagano Olympic Stadium.

Lefty Koji Mitsui held Kintetsu to one run on four hits over 6 2/3 solid innings as Seibu downed the Buffaloes at Minami Nagano Olympic Stadium.

Tuffy Rhodes connected for his league-leading 20th homer — a solo blast in the top of the seventh.

Marines vs. Hawks — ppd.

Arakaki to return

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Daiei Hawks right-hander Nagisa Arakaki, who is tuning up with the farm team after an unimpressive outing last week, will be activated to the top team roster for the upcoming weekend’s three-game series at Tokyo Dome, baseball sources said Sunday.

The 23-year-old rookie, who was demoted on May 27, pitched two scoreless innings in a Western League game Sunday and received the nod from pitching coach Takao Obana to rejoin his teammates for the series against the Fighters which begins Friday.

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