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Tuffy Rhodes hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning Friday to lead the Yomiuri Giants to a 9-4 win over the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium.

Rhodes’ 19th homer of the season off Hanshin starter Kei Igawa gave the Giants a three-run lead.

Yomiuri starter Kimiyasu Kudo went the distance to pick up the win.

Kudo also drove in a pair of runs with a single to left as the Giants scored six runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

With the victory, Yomiuri pulled to within a half game of the front-running Tigers in the Central League standings.

Dragons 6, BayStars 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Masahiko Morino hit a three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to power Chunichi past Yokohama.

Kenshin Kawakami improved to 6-2 and picked up win after holding the BayStars to two runs on four hits over eight innings.

Tyrone Woods led Yokohama’s offense with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning.

Swallows 9, Carp 8

At Hiroshima Stadium, Atsunori Inaba hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to lift Yakult over the Carp.

Atsuya Furuta went 3-for-4 with two homers for the Swallows, who overcame a first-inning grand slam by Hiroshima outfielder Tomonori Maeda in a game featuring six homers.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 6, Lions 3

At Seibu Dome, Kenji Jojima and Kazuyuki Takahashi each drove in a pair of runs to lead Daiei to a victory over Seibu.

Daiei starter Tsuyoshi Wada picked up the win after striking out 12 and giving up three runs on nine hits over the distance.

Fighters 9, Buffaloes 5

At Tokyo Dome, Fernando Seguignol hit a pair of solo homers as Nippon Ham beat Kintetsu.

Satoru Kanemura earned the win after holding the Buffaloes to four runs on five hits over seven innings.

Marines 4, BlueWave 2

At Chiba Marine Stadium, catcher Kazuya Fukuura drove in a pair of runs to lead Lotte past Orix.

Chiba starter Nate Minchey picked up the win after holding the BlueWave to two runs on seven hits over six innings.

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