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.
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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