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The Hanshin Tigers overcame a 7-4 deficit to tie the game and cut their magic number for the Central League pennant to two after a thrilling 7-7 tie with the Yakult Swallows on Thursday at Jingu Stadium.

News photoCarp starter Chris Brock delivers a pitch against the Chunichi Dragons.

The Tigers, who play a three-game series with the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome starting Friday, can capture the league pennant as early as Saturday if results go their way.

With the Tigers leading 3-2, the Swallows scored three runs in the fifth inning and added runs in the sixth and seventh en route to a 7-4 lead.

The Tigers drove in three runs in the eighth to tie the game.

George Arias hit his 33rd home run in the second inning, putting him into a tie with Alex Ramirez of the Swallows for the league lead.

Carp 4, Dragons 3 (10)

At Hiroshima Stadium, pinch hitter Kazuyoshi Kimura drove in the winning run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off Chunichi reliever Hitoki Iwase in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Carp their ninth “sayonara” win of the season.

Hiroshima improved to .500 and scored a winning record over Chunichi for the first time in three seasons.

With the Carp up 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Shinji Sasaoka, who relieved starter Chris Brock at the start of that inning, gave up a game-tying run to the Dragons, sending the game into extra innings.

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