• Kyodo


Akihiro Yano’s bases-loaded two-run double touched off a seven-hit attack in an eight-run fourth inning as the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers crushed the Yomiuri Giants 14-1 on Friday, reducing their magic number for clinching the league pennant to 47 at Koshien Stadium.

Keiichi Yabu (7-2) hurled a 4-hitter over eight innings, striking out one and walking just two. Masahiro Sakumoto worked the ninth.

Hanshin quickly added two more runs in the fourth on Atsushi Fujimoto’s single to center. Yabu then singled to put runners on first and third with Norihiro Akahoshi following with a single to give the home side its fifth run.

Tomoaki Kanemoto blasted a three-run homer off Yomiuri starter Kimiyasu Kudo to cap the inning, sending Kudo to the showers.

Makoto Imaoka lived up to his nickname of “Mr. Double” as he blasted a two-run double off reliever Yasuyuki Kawamoto during a three-run fifth.

Yano, who went 3-for-4, slammed a two-run homer into the right-center stands off Junichi Kawahara in the seventh, and Yabu doubled to score another run in the same inning to wrap up the game.

Yomiuri managed to avoid being shut out in the eighth on Tomohiro Nioka’s sacrifice fly.

Dragons at Carp — ppd.

Wada tosses gem

Daiei rookie lefty Tsuyoshi Wada tossed his second shutout of the season, striking out nine as the Hawks beat the Seibu Lions 3-0 at Seibu Dome on Friday.

Wada (9-3) gave up six hits and walked three for his fourth win against the Lions. He did not let a runner past second.

Nobuhiko Matsunaka gave Daiei a 1-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI single that brought home Arihito Muramatsu from second base.

In the fifth, the Hawks scored a run on a balk by Lions lefty Kazuyuki Hoashi (2-4) before Kenji Jojima added a run with an RBI single.

Hoashi allowed three runs on six hits over five innings in taking the loss.

Buffaloes 9, Fighters 5

Yuji Yoshioka had three hits and drove home two runs while slugger Tuffy Rhodes smashed his 28th homer of the year as Kintetsu beat Nippon Ham at Tokyo Dome.

Rhodes led off the top of the ninth with a solo dinger to tie Seibu’s Alex Cabrera for the PL lead in homers.

Leading Nippon Ham 5-3 in the seventh, Naoyuki Omura belted a solo homer and Yoshioka doubled home two runs.

Jeremy Powell (7-8) yielded five runs on five hits over six-plus innings but held on for the win as the Buffaloes won their third straight game against the Fighters.

Nippon Ham hurler Satoru Kanemura (3-5) took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits over six innings of work.

PL batting leader Michihiro Ogasawara went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and raised his average to .351.

Marines 4, BlueWave 4 (12)

Kiyoshi Hatsushiba nailed a game-tying three-run homer in the ninth inning and both teams failed to score a run the rest of the way as the game ended in a tie after 12 innings at Yahoo BB Stadium.

Down 4-0 in the ninth, Rick Short doubled home a run before Takashi Tachikawa drew a walk and both scored when Hatsushiba followed with his home run.

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