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Masahiko Morino broke a scoreless deadlock with a seventh-inning homer and veteran southpaw Masahiro Yamamoto pitched 6 2/3 effective innings Tuesday, lifting the first-place Chunichi Dragons to a 6-1 victory over the Hanshin Tigers for their fourth straight win.

Morino led off the seventh with a shot to center off Shinobu Fukuhara (1-3) before Masahiro Araki extended the lead to 2-0 with an RBI groundout one out later at Koshien Stadium.

Morino, who had singled and doubled earlier in the game, drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth before Motonobu Tanishige added a sacrifice fly to give the Dragons a 4-0 lead.

Hiroyuki Watanabe capped the scoring with a two-run homer in the ninth as Chunichi took a two-game lead over Hanshin in the league standings with its seventh win in eight games.

Swallows 7, Giants 5

At Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka, Alex Ramirez went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and a ninth-inning tiebreaking double, helping Yakult win its third in four games while handing Yomiuri its five straight loss.

Ramirez turned a one-run deficit to a 4-3 lead in the fifth with his fifth homer of the season and then broke a 5-5 tie when he doubled off Masanori Hayashi (0-2) to score Akinori Iwamura, who had reached on Hayashi’s throwing error.

Atsuya Furuta, who reached a 2,000-hit milestone Sunday, followed with an RBI double for his third hit of the game.

Yomiuri tied it at 5-all in the seventh on consecutive hits from Tuffy Rhodes, Hiroki Kokubo and Shinnosuke Abe as well as a fielder’s choice on a Takayuki Shimizu grounder to first.

Yomiuri infielder Kazuhiro Kiyohara, who had a pair of singles in four at-bats, has gone without a homer in five games and remains one shy of 500 career homers.

Carp 7, BayStars 4

In Nagasaki, Takahiro Arai homered twice and Greg Larocca drove in three runs on a pair of RBI singles as Hiroshima beat Yokohama for its third victory in four games.

After Larocca put the Carp on the board with a single to center in the first inning, Arai hit a solo shot to center in the second and a two-run drive to left in the third — both off Ken Kadokura (0-1).

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Marines 7, Lions 1

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Hiroyuki Kobayashi pitched seven sharp innings and first-place Lotte put together 15 hits to extend its winning streak to six games with a romp over Seibu.

Kobayashi (3-2) held Seibu to one run on six hits while striking out four and walking none.

Fighters 7, Hawks 5

At Sapporo Dome, Kuniyuki Kimoto drove in four runs with a homer and a two-run single and Ken Kamakura got his first career win, powering Nippon Ham past Softbank.

Buffaloes 6, Eagles 5

At Yamagata Stadium, Hirotoshi Kitagawa hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning as Orix overcame a 4-2 deficit to hand Rakuten its 10th straight loss.

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