Hanshin Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino must feel comfortable with a commanding lead in the Central League standings.
Despite a 17 1/2-game lead, Hoshino made a glaring tactical error Sunday when he inexplicably pulled his outfielders in during the eighth inning of their game against the Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome.
The second-place Giants scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth when routine fly balls sailed over the heads of drawn in Hanshin outfielders to hand Yomiuri a comfortable 6-1 victory.
Dragons 5, Swallows 0
In Nagoya, Kosuke Fukudome hit a pair of two-run homers to power Chunichi to a victory over Yakult.
Carp 3, BayStars 0
In Hiroshima, Hiroki Kuroda went the distance as the Carp blanked Yokohama.
Buffaloes 4, Hawks 4
In Osaka, Norihiro Nakamura and Yuji Yoshioka hit solo homers in back-to-back at-bats in the eighth inning and Eiji Mizuguchi followed with an RBI single off Takayuki Shinohara in a two-run ninth as Kintetsu and Daiei played to a tie.
The Hawks’ magic number to clinch the pennant stands at 30.
Fighters 5, Marines 2
In Chiba, designated hitter Kazuteru Shimada drove in a pair of runs as Nippon Ham downed Lotte at Chiba Marine Stadium.
Lions 8, BlueWave 2
In Kobe, Kazuhiro Wada belted a two-run homer in the first inning and added a solo blast in the eighth to lead Seibu to a win over Orix.
Yomiuri Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe was taken from the active roster Sunday after complaining of pain in his right shoulder, club officials said.
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