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George Arias hit his 34th homer to take sole possession of the lead in the Central League home run derby and went 3-for-5 with five RBIs, but the Hanshin Tigers were outslugged by the Chunichi Dragons 9-7 in a seesaw contest Saturday at Nagoya Dome.

News photoHanshin’s George Arias connects for a solo home
run in the third inning against Chunichi on Saturday at Nagoya
Dome. The Dragons won 9-7.

Trey Moore allowed Kosuke Fukudome to match a club record with his fifth homer in as many games and did not last an inning as the Tigers lost their fourth in five games and delayed the earliest possible day to clinch the CL pennant to Sunday.

Kazuki Inoue hit a pinch-hit, two-run double off Keiichi Yabu (8-3) with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to ignite a five-run frame in which the Dragons sent 11 batters to the plate, while three Tigers pitchers issued a combined six walks.

Carp 6, BayStars 5

At Hiroshima Stadium, Takahiro Arai hit a three-run homer in the third inning and Yoshiyuki Ishihara went 3-for-4 as the Carp edged Yokohama and Hiroki Kuroda (10-8) earned double digit wins for the third straight season.

Swallows 5, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, Yakult catcher Atsuya Furuta hit a three-run homer off Yomiuri starter Koji Uehara (13-5) to cap a five-run sixth inning, lifting the Swallows to a season-high seventh straight victory.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Lions 8, Fighters 6

At Seibu Dome, Alex Cabrera hit his 45th homer of the season and Hiroaki Ueda singled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning as Seibu beat Nippon Ham.

Daisuke Matsuzaka failed to post a career high 17th win after giving up six runs and eight hits in a no-decision seven-plus innings but the Lions won their third in a row.

Marines 5, Buffaloes 4

At Osaka Dome, pinch hitter Kiyoshi Hatsushiba and Koichi Hori hit back-to-back RBI doubles to cap a three-run ninth inning as Lotte came from behind to defeat Kintetsu. Hiroyuki Kobayashi (8-10) allowed four runs in eight innings for the win.

Hawks 13, BlueWave 7

At Yahoo BB Stadium, Pedro Valdes went 4-for-5 with 5 RBIs, including a two-run homer, and Tadahito Iguchi drove in three runs as Daiei beat Orix to reduce its magic number to clinch the PL pennant to 11.

Kubota sidelined

OSAKA (Kyodo) Hanshin Tigers right-hander Tomoyuki Kubota on Saturday was diagnosed with damaged ligaments in his right elbow, team trainer Yoshitsugu Sugita said.

The 22-year-old rookie, who left the mound after complaining of pain in his elbow during Friday’s game against the Chunichi Dragons, will refrain from pitching for two weeks, according to Sugita.

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