• The Associated Press


Kazumi Saito went the distance Wednesday and the Softbank Hawks took advantage of a costly throwing error by third baseman Hiroki Kokubo on their way to a 7-1 win over the Yomiuri Giants in interleague play.

Saito struck out seven and gave up one run on five hits as the Hawks won their second straight against the Giants at Yahoo Dome.

“They have a great lineup from one through nine,” said Saito. “But (Kenji) Jojima called a great game and I was able to keep them off balance.”

With runners on first and second in the bottom of the sixth, Kokubo handled Julio Zuleta’s grounder cleanly but threw over the head of second baseman Toshihisa Nishi in an attempt to turn a double play.

Softbank scored three runs in the sixth and Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a solo homer in the seventh when the Hawks added two more runs to widen their lead.

Yomiuri starter Tetsuya Utsumi took the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits over six innings. Four of the five runs were unearned.

Swallows 3, Eagles 2

At Fullcast Stadium, Shinya Miyamoto drove in a pair of runs with a double to left as Yakult scored three runs in the top of the seventh on its way to edging Rakuten.

Swallows starter Shugo Fujii picked up the win after holding the Eagles to two runs on five hits over 7 2/3 innings. Hirotoshi Ishii retired the side in the ninth for the save.

Yuji Yoshioka and Koichi Isobe hit solo homers in the eighth off Fujii for Rakuten.

Tigers 3, Lions 2

At Koshien Stadium, Shinjiro Hiyama hit a two-run homer in the second inning to lead Hanshin over Seibu.

Tigers starter Naohisa Sugiyama went six scoreless innings for the win and Tomoyuki Kubota retired the side in the ninth for the save.

Buffaloes 4, BayStars 3

At Osaka Dome, Mitsutaka Goto hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead Orix to victory against Yokohama.

Dragons 11, Fighters 4

At Sapporo Dome, Alex Ochoa went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs as Chunichi downed Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Kazuki Inoue hit a two-run homer and also drove in three runs for the Dragons, who maintained a one-game lead over Hanshin in the Central League standings.

Marines 9, Carp 5

At Hiroshima Stadium, Lee Seung Yeop went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to power Pacific League-leading Chiba Lotte to a win over the Carp.

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