Yoshinori Okihara hit a bases-loaded single to right to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning, as the Hanshin Tigers completed a three-game sweep over the Yakult Swallows with a 1-0 “sayonara” victory at Koshien Stadium on Wednesday.

Scoreless until the 11th inning, pinch hitter Ryo Asai singled off Yakult reliever Hirotoshi Ishii and advanced to third on a grounder by Norihiro Akahoshi and a wild pitch.

After the Swallows intentionally walked Akihiro Yano and George Arias to load the bases, Okihara hit the game-winning single.

The Swallows suffered their season-worst fourth consecutive loss.

Carp 1, Giants 0

Koichi Ogata singled home the winning run in the top of the ninth inning and four Hiroshima pitchers worked a four-hit shutout as the Carp blanked Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome.

With a runner on second in the ninth inning, Yomiuri reliever Yukinaga Maeda picked up a grounder and threw to third, only for the runner to be ruled safe. Ogata then drove in the winning run.

Tsuyoshi Kikuchihara (2-0) earned the win while Katsuhiro Nagakawa pitched the ninth for his 15th save of the season.

Dragons 4, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Kosuke Fukudome drove in four runs including a three-run home run in the sixth inning, as Chunichi downed the BayStars.

Makoto Kito (5-4) gave up a run on five hits over six innings for his first win in a month while the BayStars lost their fifth game in a row.


Fighters 11, Hawks 3

At Fukuoka Dome, Michihiro Ogasawara blasted a grand slam and Kuniyuki Kimoto hit a three-run home run as Nippon Ham defeated Pacific League-leading Daiei.

Daiei starter Hayato Terahara (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season.

BlueWave 12, Lions 4

At Seibu Dome, Jose Ortiz smacked a grand slam and Roosevelt Brown added a three-run roundtripper as Orix registered 19 hits to score 12 runs and down Seibu.

Buffaloes 5, Marines 5 (12)

Cabrera to stay a Lion

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. (Kyodo) Seibu Lions slugger Alex Cabrera will play for the Pacific League club next season, baseball officials said Wednesday.

Sources said Seibu was in the process of working out a multiyear contract for Cabrera and would officially sign the former Arizona Diamondbacks infielder in mid-August.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan native has a three-year deal with Seibu which expires this season but he has expressed his desire to remain in Japan, though rumors had persisted he had wished to return to the major leagues next year.

Cabrera’s agent began negotiations with Seibu to remain with the team earlier this month, officials said.

Cabrera, who hit 55 homers to match the single-season Japanese home run record last season and 49 in his first year with Seibu in 2001, was selected most valuable player for helping Seibu win the league championship last season.

This season, Cabrera has already hit 30 homers for the third consecutive year and is currently battling Kintetsu Buffaloes outfielder Tuffy Rhodes for the home run title.

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