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Shinnosuke Abe homered and drove in three runs, helping to power the Yomiuri Giants to an 8-1 victory for their second straight win over the first-place Hanshin Tigers on Thursday.

News photoYomiuri’s Tuffy Rhodes hits an RBI single off Hanshin Tigers starter Shinobu Fukuhara in the fourth inning Thursday at Koshien Stadium. The Giants won 8-1.

Abe had a two-run double to highlight a four-run fourth inning in front of a Tigers partisan crowd of 47,934 in a Central League game at Koshien Stadium.

Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Hiroki Kokubo delivered solo blasts in the fifth and Abe hit a leadoff shot to center off Shinobu Fukuhara (1-1) in the sixth to cap the scoring. Fukuhara was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs in five innings.

Koji Uehara (2-0) allowed one run over seven sharp innings with seven strikeouts and no walks to earn the victory.

The Giants, who moved out of last place with the win, took a 1-0 lead in the first before Makoto Imaoka homered in his second straight game to tie the game in the second.

BayStars 3, Swallows 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Takuro Ishii drove in the go-ahead run on a two-run single in the seventh, lifting the BayStars to their second win in a row against Yakult.

Cedric Bowers (1-0) won his first decision this season, allowing two runs in seven innings with seven strikeouts. A shaky Kazuhiro Sasaki escaped a two-on jam in the ninth to post his second save of the season and 250th of his career.

Akinori Iwamura went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a solo homer for the Swallows, who dropped into last place in the CL standings.

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