NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. – 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).
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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