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Cleanup hitter Kazuhiro Kiyohara went 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in three runs Wednesday as the Yomiuri Giants defeated the Hiroshima Carp 5-1 at Sapporo Dome.

Kiyohara drove in a run in the first and the third innings before belting a solo homer in the eighth to give the Giants a 5-1 lead. It was Kiyohara’s ninth homer of the season.

Yomiuri starter Gary Rath picked up the win after holding the Carp to one run on seven hits over six innings. Rath, formerly of the Minnesota Twins, improved to 3-2.

With the victory, the Giants gained a half game on the idle Hanshin Tigers and are nine games back of the Central League leaders.

Dragons 5, Swallows 2

At Nagoya Dome, Ivan Cruz drove in a pair of runs — including a solo homer in the sixth inning — to lead Chunichi over Yakult.

Chunichi starter Makoto Kito picked up the win after holding the Swallows scoreless over five innings as the Dragons won their fifth straight to remain nine games back of the Tigers.

BayStars at Tigers — ppd.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

BlueWave 5, Hawks 4

At Sendai Stadium, Yoshitomo Tani and Takashi Miwa each drove in a run and Orix rallied for four runs in the final two innings for a come-from-behind win over Daiei.

Orix rookie Daisuke Kato picked up the win after coming on in the ninth to retire the side. Starter Mac Suzuki gave up three runs on three hits over six innings.

Cox sidelined

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Yokohama BayStars infielder Steve Cox, who underwent surgery on his knee in February, will be out for the remainder of the first half of the season, manager Daisuke Yamashita said Wednesday.

Cox had begun training with a minor league team after injuring his left hamstring on June 6 but his right knee became inflamed and he has not been able to play in any games since.

Tigers ink Rigan

OSAKA (Kyodo) The Hanshin Tigers have acquired New York Mets’ Triple-A right-hander Jarrod Rigan on a one-year deal worth an estimated 35 million yen, officials of the Central League club said Wednesday.

Rigan, who has a career 5-4 record with a 5.19 ERA in 67 major league games, is expected to be used as a middle reliever for the Tigers. He is scheduled to arrive in Japan on Sunday.

The 29-year-old, who boasts fastballs in the 150 km range and a forkball in his arsenal of pitches, said he is honored and excited to play for the Tigers and hopes to help the team win the championship this season.

Nippon Bunri grabs title

Hiroto Masunaga hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the “sayonara” run as Nippon Bunri University edged the defending champion Asia University 4-3 in the final of the national collegiate baseball championship Wednesday for its first victory.

Nippon Bunri, making its second appearance in the eight-day tournament at Jingu Stadium, allowed the opponents to tie the game 3-all in the top of the ninth, but turned the tide on back-to-back walks and a wild pitch with none out in the bottom half of the inning.

Nippon Bunri University senior and team captain Ryota Wakiya was named the MVP after batting .526 in the annual tournament.

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