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South Korean slugger Lee Seung Yeop hit a two-run homer to open the scoring and Shunsuke Watanabe posted his 10th win as the Chiba Lotte Marines avoided a third straight loss by beating the Seibu Lions 6-1 in Friday’s only Pacific League game.

News photoKazuhiro Wada of the Lions makes a sliding catch during the fifth
inning of Friday’s game against the Marines at Chiba Marine Stadium.

After Lee connected off rookie right-hander Hideaki Wakui (1-4) in the second inning, Toshiaki Imae made it 3-1 with an RBI single in the fifth at Chiba Marine Stadium. The homer was Lee’s team-high 17th this season and first since June 17.

Benny Agbayani hit a bases-clearing double in the eighth.

Watanabe (10-1) reached double-digit wins for the second year in a row after limiting the damage to a run on four hits over eight effective innings.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 3, Carp 2

At Tokyo Dome, Hisanori Takahashi pitched his second shutout of the season to lift Yomiuri to its second shutout victory in two nights with a win over Hiroshima.

The day after Koji Uehara pitched a two-hit shutout, Takahashi (2-5) struck out 10 of the 32 batters he faced at Tokyo Dome while yielding eight hits and walking one in a 118-pitch outing.

It was the second day in a row the Giants bullpen rested in a game that lasted less than three hours.

Hiroki Kokubo put the Giants on the board with an RBI single in the first inning and Tuffy Rhodes extended the lead with a two-run homer off Kan Otake (5-6) in the sixth.

BayStars 5, Tigers 4

At Yokohama Stadium, Ryoji Aikawa hit a two-run homer off Kentaro Hashimoto (2-2) for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning as the BayStars edged Hanshin and ended their skid after four games, returning to .500.

Takeharu Kato (3-3) earned the win for getting two outs in the sixth after the Tigers scored three runs to tie the game at 3-all in the fifth. Mark Kroon worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save.

Dragons 8, Swallows 4

At Jingu Stadium, Alex Ochoa capped a four-run fifth inning with a game-tying single and Hirokazu Ibata turned the game around with a bases-clearing triple in the eighth as Chunichi came from four runs down to defeat Yakult.

Ibata and Ochoa had three hits apiece in a 14-hit attack.

Shinya Okamoto (8-3) worked a hitless seventh for the win and Hitoki Iwase got four outs for his league-leading 20th save. Ryu Kawabata (2-3) was tagged with the loss.

Akahoshi to play

OSAKA (Kyodo) Doctors detected cracks in the left rib of Hanshin Tigers outfielder Norihiro Akahoshi after he was initially diagnosed with bruises in his side, baseball officials said Friday.

The 29-year-old Akahoshi, a three-time Golden Glove winner, sustained the injury when he collided with a player while trying to steal base in a game against the Seibu Lions on June 15, but will continue playing and wait for his rib to heal naturally.

Akahoshi, who led the Central League in stolen bases the past four years, currently has 34 stolen bases for the most in the league.

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