Veteran left-hander Kimiyasu Kudo went seven-plus strong innings Friday and Hiroki Kokubo belted two home runs as the Yomiuri Giants edged the Hiroshima Carp 4-3.

Kudo struck out 12 batters and gave up three runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings, setting a record for the oldest pitcher — at 40 years and 11 months — to strike out over 10 batters in a single game.

Hideki Okajima retired the side in the ninth for the save as the Giants improved to 11-12 on the season.

“I tried to get a little more movement on my pitches and it paid off,” said Kudo. “I struggled in my last outing at Tokyo Dome so it was nice to get the win tonight.”

Kokubo, acquired in the offseason from the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, hit a solo homer in the second inning and added a three-run blast in the third as the Giants won their third straight game.

BayStars 9, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Tyrone Woods hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and drove in four runs to lead Central League-leading Yokohama past Chunichi.

Takashi Saito picked up the win after holding the Dragons to two runs on six hits in six innings.

Kenjiro Kawasaki (0-1), making his second start of the season, gave up four runs on three hits and did not get any outs before he was pulled for a reliever.

Tigers 8, Swallows 5

At Koshien Stadium, Makoto Imaoka went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs to power Hanshin over Yakult.

Imaoka singled in the second inning when the Tigers scored four runs, hit a solo homer in the fourth and added another single in the sixth.

Kentaro Sekimoto and George Arias — who led off the third with his 10th homer of the year — had two hits each.


Marines 3, Lions 0

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Naoyuki Shimizu outdueled Koji Onuma as Lotte edged Seibu.

Shimizu, who improved to 2-2, struck out 10 batters and gave up four hits over the distance as Bobby Valentine’s team improved to 14-15.

It was the 1,200th victory of Valentine’s career in both Japan and the major leagues.

South Korean slugger Lee Seung Yeop connected for a solo homer in the seventh inning to lead the Lotte attack.

Kazuya Fukuura and Chihiro Hamana each drove in a run for the Marines, who are undefeated in their last four games.

Onuma took the loss after giving up three runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings. (The Associated Press)

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