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Southpaw Toshiya Sugiuchi extended his personal winning streak to three straight games as the Pacific-League leading Softbank Hawks romped 9-1 over the Rakuten Eagles for their 14th consecutive victory on Tuesday.

Sugiuchi (12-2) was nearly flawless, striking out 10 of the 30 batters he faced while allowing six hits and two walks over the eight sharp innings at Yahoo Dome.

Buffaloes 5, Lions 4

At Osaka Dome, Masahiro Abe hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly off Tomoki Hoshino (1-2) in the eighth inning and Masanobu Okubo worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save, carrying Orix to a win over Seibu to stop a four-game skid.

Fighters 8, Marines 1

At Tokyo Dome, Fernando Seguignol, Hiroshi Narahara and Michihiro Ogasawara each homered off Naoyuki Shimizu (7-6), powering Hokkaido Nippon Ham to a rout over Chiba Lotte, snapping a three-game skid.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Tigers 4, Swallows 1

At Koshien Stadium, Makoto Imaoka homered and Kei Igawa pitched seven sharp innings on one-run ball, leading Central-League leading Hanshin to victory over Yakult for its third straight win.

Giants 2, Dragons 1

At Nagoya Dome, veteran lefty Kimiyasu Kudo pitched seven strong innings and got run support from Yoshinobu Takahashi and Kazuhiro Kiyohara, lifting Yomiuri to its fourth victory in five games while snapping a four-game losing streak against Chunichi.

BayStars at Carp — ppd.

Jojima thinking big

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Softbank Hawks catcher Kenji Jojima said Tuesday he is ready to test himself in the free-agent market after earning the rights in his career 11th season in Japan, officially raising the curtain on the biggest off-season signing battle.

Should the 29-year-old Jojima, who hit cleanup for Japan at the Athens Olympics team last summer, strike a deal with a major league team, he will become the first-ever Japanese catcher to play for any of the 30 American or National League teams.

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