• Kyodo


Kazuya Fukuura hit a two-out, bases-clearing double to snap a fifth-inning tie Tuesday, propelling the Chiba Lotte Marines to their longest winning streak in 45 years with a 4-3 triumph over the Rakuten Eagles.

News photoNippon Ham Fighters slugger Michihiro Ogasawara hits a
grand slam in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s game at Invoice Seibu Dome. The
Fighters trounced the Seibu Lions 14-7.

Fukuura’s clutch hitting made it 4-1 and the Marines held on for their 11th straight victory after the last-place Eagles closed to within a run in the seventh on back-to-back RBI singles by Akihito Fujii and Tadaharu Sakai at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Lotte moved 16 games over .500 for the best record in the Pacific League, 3.5 games ahead of the second-place Softbank Hawks.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi (4-2) gave up three runs, two earned, and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings of work for the win. Masahide Kobayashi got the final three outs for his ninth save this season.

Gary Rath (0-5) was charged with four runs in 4 1/3 innings and was handed his fifth loss in as many decisions.

Hawks 8, Buffaloes 3

At Osaka Dome, Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a three-run homer off Hidetaka Kawagoe (2-2) for his third homer in two games to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning as Softbank went on to beat Orix to end its three-game losing skid.

Toshiya Sugiuchi (5-0) struck out 10 in his third complete game of the season while giving up three runs and six hits, including a solo homer to Cliff Brumbaugh. Sugiuchi leads the league with five wins and a 1.29 earned run average.

Fighters 14, Lions 7

At Invoice Seibu Dome, Michihiro Ogasawara hit a grand slam and a two-run homer and Sherman Obando and Tsuyoshi Shinjo also homered as Nippon Ham overpowered the Lions in a 28-hit slugfest.


Dragons 9, Swallows 3

At Nagoya Dome, Kosuke Fukudome went 3-for-5 with five RBIs for his second straight three-hit game to lead Chunichi past Yakult.

Fukudome, who had driven in nine runs in the previous three games, hit two RBI singles and a three-run triple as the Dragons chased Masanori Ishikawa (2-2) after three innings and built leads of 6-1 and 8-3 through six innings.

Chunichi moved a season-high nine games over .500 while snapping the Swallows’ six-game winning streak.

Masahiro Yamamoto (3-0) allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings.

Carp 3, Tigers 2

At Koshien Stadium, Hiroki Kuroda pitched eight effective innings and helped his own cause with a tie-breaking triple as Hiroshima sent Hanshin to its fifth loss in a row.

Kuroda (4-1) delivered the key hit, his first of two hits off Shinobu Fukuhara (1-4), with the game tied 2-2 and a runner on first in the fourth inning.

BayStars 5, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, Hitoshi Taneda, Ryoji Aikawa and Masaaki Koike homered off Hiroshi Sato (0-1) in the top of the ninth inning as Yokohama rallied to defeat CL cellar-dweller Yomiuri.

One out after Taneda’s leadoff shot tied the game 3-3, Aikawa and Koike hit back-to-back homers to rob Yomiuri lefty Hisanori Takahashi of a chance to end a personal six-game losing skid.

Giants stars Kazuhiro Kiyohara (stomach flu) and Yoshinobu Takahashi (shoulder pain) both missed the game.

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