• The Associated Press


Shuichi Murata, Ryoji Aikawa and Hitoshi Tamura all hit solo homers Sunday to lead the Yokohama BayStars to an 8-5 win over the Hiroshima Carp.

News photoShunsuke Watanabe of the Marines pitches against the Softbank Hawks at Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka on Sunday. Chiba Lotte won the Pacific League tilt 4-1.

Murata connected in the top of the second inning at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium to give the BayStars a 2-1 lead. Aikawa hit his first of the season in the fourth and Tamura made it 6-3 in the top of the seventh with his third homer of the season.

Yokohama starter Takeharu Kato picked up the win after holding the Carp to three runs on six hits over six innings.

Koichi Ogata, Shigenobu Shima and Takahiro Arai homered for the Carp, who lost for the first time in four games.

Former Seattle Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki retired the side in the ninth for the save.

Dragons 2, Tigers 1

At Nagoya Dome, Kosuke Fukudome drove in a pair of runs with a clutch single to right in the bottom of the eighth to lift Chunichi to a win over Hanshin.

The defending Central League champion Dragons took two out of three from the Tigers and moved back into first place in the standings.

Giants 6, Swallows 5

At Jingu Stadium, Yomiuri’s Toshihisa Nishi singled off Ryu Kawabata for the go-ahead run with two out and runners on first and second in the eighth inning, breaking a 5-5 tie and sending Yakult to its fifth loss in six games.

Nishi was 3-for-5 and Kazuhiro Kiyohara hit a three-run homer, closing to within three of No. 500.


Fighters 7, Eagles 2

At Tokyo Dome, Michihiro Ogasawara, Fernando Seguignol and Atsunori Inaba all hit RBI singles in the first inning to lead Nippon Ham to a win over Rakuten and a three-game sweep of the series.

Nippon Ham starter Itsuki Shoda picked up the win after holding the Eagles to two runs on four hits over seven innings.

Hidemitsu Saito hit a two-run homer in the fifth for the Eagles, who lost for the fifth time in their last six games.

Marines 4, Hawks 1

At Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka, Shunsuke Watanabe gave up one run over 8 2/3 innings as Lotte downed Softbank.

Former New York Mets Benny Agbayani and Matt Franco each drove in a run for the Marines, who won the final game of the three-game series after losing the first two.

Softbank starter Takahiro Mahara took the loss after giving up four runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings.

With the victory, Lotte moved back into first place in the Pacific League standings.

Buffaloes 5, Lions 2

At Osaka Dome, Hirotoshi Kitagawa and Masahiro Abe both hit solo homers as Orix downed Seibu to complete a three-game sweep of the defending Japan Series champs.

Orix starter Hidetaka Kawagoe held the Lions to two runs on nine hits over six innings to pick up his second win of the season.

Woods toughs it out

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Chunichi Dragons infielder Tyrone Woods has a hairline fracture in the tip of his left little finger and has been told by doctors it will take six weeks to heal, but he will continue playing in games baseball sources said Sunday.

Woods, who hits right-handed, was hit by a Ryota Igarashi pitch in a game against the Yakult Swallows on April 6 and had X-rays taken before the game Saturday as the pain did not subside after he was first diagnosed with a bruised finger.

“The manager said it’s up to me to play or not. It hurts when I’m batting or fielding but as long as I’m on the roster, I don’t intend to just sit on the bench,” said Woods, a two-time CL home-run king.

On Sunday, Woods started at first base and hit cleanup against the Hanshin Tigers and went 1-for-4.

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