• The Associated Press


Veteran left-hander Kimiyasu Kudo picked up his 199th-career victory Wednesday night as the Yomiuri Giants edged the Yakult Swallows 3-1 at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

The 41-year-old Kudo, who is playing in his 23rd season, struck out five and gave up one run on seven hits over seven innings. Yuya Kubo recorded the final three outs for the save.

Yomiuri took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on a double to left by Tomohiro Nioka that scored Roberto Petagine. Petagine added a solo homer in the top of the ninth to widen the lead to 3-1 as the Giants won their third straight.

Dragons 5, BayStars 4 (11)

At Nagoya Dome, Kazuki Inoue drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th to lift Central League-leading Chunichi to a win over Yokohama.

The BayStars took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 11th but Yokohama closer Kazuhiro Sasaki couldn’t hold the lead.

Tigers at Carp — ppd.


Lions 7, BlueWave 2

At Seibu Dome, Alex Cabrera hit a solo homer and Scott McClain added a three-run blast to power the Lions over Orix.

Seibu starter Koji Mitsui gave up two runs on seven hits over eight innings for the win.

Hawks 6, Marines 4

In Sendai, Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit his league-leading 35th homer to power front-running Fukuoka Daiei to a win over Chiba Lotte at Miyagi Prefectural Stadium.

Matsunaka hit a two-run homer in the first inning and then drove in another run in a three-run seventh when the Hawks took a 5-4 lead.

With the win, Fukuoka Daiei maintained a 3 1/2-game lead over Seibu in the standings.

Fighters 4, Buffaloes 2

At Sapporo Dome, Kuniyuki Kimoto went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs to lead Hokkaido Nippon Ham past Kintetsu.

PL wants one league

SAPPORO (Kyodo) The six Pacific League teams are firmly set on realigning Japan’s professional baseball into a one-league format after the planned and envisioned mergers of four of the ballclubs into two squads, Pacific League President Tadao Koike said Wednesday.

Koike told reporters at Sapporo Dome that officials of the PL clubs have met numerous times following the July 26 meeting of the Nippon Professional Baseball executive committee, represented by all 12 teams in both leagues, to reaffirm their stance.

“It is difficult to operate a league with five teams, so we are in tandem in the direction of going down to four teams and asking the Central League” to form one league, Koike said.

In addition to the planned merger between the Orix BlueWave and the Kintetsu Buffaloes, another two PL clubs — reportedly the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks and the Chiba Lotte Marines — are said to be making preparations to merge.

But Koike said he has not been informed about any progress on the possible second merger since July 26.

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