• The Associated Press


Kenshin Kawakami came within one out of a complete-game Friday as the Chunichi Dragons downed the Yomiuri Giants 5-2 to move into sole possession of first place in the Central League standings.

News photoBayStars center fielder Hitoshi Tamura makes
a sliding catch during Friday’s game against the Hanshin Tigers at Yokohama Stadium. The BayStars won 3-1.

Kawakami held the Giants to two runs on six hits at Nagoya Dome. He retired the first two batters in the ninth before being taken out in favor of closer Hitoki Iwase, who retired pinch-hitter Akira Eto for his seventh save of the season.

Masahiko Morino drove in pair of runs on a double in the second inning when the Dragons scored four runs off Yomiuri starter Mitsutaka Goto.

Yomiuri veteran Kazuhiro Kiyohara had one hit in four at-bats but failed to hit his career 500th homer.

BayStars 3, Tigers 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Hitoshi Tamura hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead the BayStars over Hanshin.

Yokohama starter Daisuke Miura earned the victory after holding the Tigers to one run on seven hits over the distance.

Yuya Ando (1-1) was charged with three runs on six hits in six innings.


Marines 5, Eagles 1

At Sendai’s Fullcast Stadium, Koichi Hori went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs as Chiba Lotte downed Rakuten.

Lotte starter Shingo Ono picked up the win after giving up one run on four hits over the distance as the Marines handed the Eagles their sixth straight loss.

Gary Rath (0-3) was charged with four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of work and remained winless after five starts this season.

Hawks 2, Lions 0

At Invoice Seibu Dome, Tsuyoshi Wada tossed a four-hitter over eight scoreless innings as the league-leading Softbank blanked Seibu. Koji Mise retired the side in the ninth for his 10th save of the season.

Tony Batista and Mitsuru Honma each drove in a run for the Hawks, who won their fourth straight game.

Seibu starter Daisuke Matsuzaka took the loss despite striking out 11 and giving up two runs on six hits over the distance.

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