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Hanshin starter Hideki Irabu allowed nine hits and struck out 11 over the distance, leading the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Chunichi Dragons Thursday night at Koshien Stadium.

The Tigers completed a three-game sweep of the Dragons and extended their winning streak at home to 10.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Teruyoshi Kuji’s triple in the second inning.

In the sixth, Kuji drove in a run with a sacrifice fly with one out and the bases loaded.

The Dragons escaped a shutout defeat when Motonobu Tanishige slugged a solo home run in the ninth inning.

Swallows 4, BayStars 3

Ken Suzuki belted home runs in the back-to-back at-bats when Yakult downed Yokohama at Jingu Stadium.

Suzuki had a two-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the fourth, both off Yokohama starter Yuji Yoshimi (2-6).

Kevin Hodges (3-5) gave up three hits and struck out four over seven innings for the win.

The BayStars attempted a comeback when both Takahiro Saeki and Katsuaki Furuki hit solo homers off Yakult stopper Shingo Takatsu in the bottom of the ninth, but fell short.

Carp 7, Giants 6

Andy Sheets drilled a tiebreaking solo homer off Yomiuri reliever Junya Sakai in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Carp a “sayonara victory” over the Giants at Hiroshima Stadium.

Rib pain for Giants Kubo

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Rookie right-hander Yuya Kubo of the Yomiuri Giants on Thursday complained of left-side rib pain during pre-game practice for the day’s game against the Hiroshima Carp and was diagnosed to be suffering from a condition similar to a stress fracture, officials of the Central League team said.

Kubo, who joined the team from Tokai University, has a 3-1 win-loss tally in 20 games.

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