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Hiroshima hurler Hiroki Kuroda held Yakult to seven hits over the distance to notch his career-high 13th win as the Carp downed the Swallows 7-1 at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium on Wednesday.

Kuroda (13-8) struck out seven and walked none, while Yakult starter Yuhei Takai (5-6) was knocked out after a career-worst two-plus innings, allowing three runs on four hits.

Kazuki Fukuchi went 4-for-4 with three stolen bases to lead a 12-hit attack for the Carp.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Marines 5, BlueWave 2

Masato Watanabe led off the third inning with a game-tying homer and Kazuya Fukuura followed with an RBI sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run as Lotte beat Orix at Kobe’s Yahoo BB Stadium.

Koichi Hori connected for a solo shot in the eighth for his 150th career homer, while Nate Minchey (14-9) matched a team-high with 14 wins after allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings.

Masahide Kobayashi earned his 33rd save with a perfect ninth.

Ochiai takes reins

NAGOYA (Kyodo) The Chunichi Dragons on Wednesday unveiled baseball commentator and one-time Dragons player Hiromitsu Ochiai as the Central League club’s new manager.

Ochiai, 49, said it did not take him long to decide on accepting the offer from his former employers, who had been struggling to find an appropriate replacement for Hisashi Yamada. Yamada was fired Sept. 9 after a string of poor results.

“It didn’t take me long to make up my mind. I talked to my wife about the offer, and she told me I should go and give something back to the club,” said Ochiai, who played for Chunichi for seven seasons from 1987.

Rookie Murata honored

Chunichi Dragons pitcher Masafumi Hirai was named the Most Valuable Player for the month of September while Yokohama BayStars rookie Shoichi Murata received the accolades for position players in the Central League on Tuesday.

Hirai posted four wins during the month, including two complete-game shutouts.

Murata, who set a rookie record by hitting 10 home runs during the month, was chosen for the first time.

Chiba Lotte Marines right-hander Naoyuki Shimizu and Orix BlueWave infielder Yoshitomo Tani picked up the Pacific League honors.

Sano calls it quits

KOBE (Kyodo) Orix BlueWave right-hander Shigeki Sano, who also had stints with the Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Chunichi Dragons, said Wednesday he will retire as a player and hopes to start a new career as a coach.

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