• Kyodo


Shinya Miyamoto went 2-for-3 with a fifth-inning RBI single and Ryo Kawashima threw eight shutout innings as the Yakult Swallows blanked the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers 1-0 to snap their five-game losing streak.

News photo Orix Buffaloes baserunner Hirotoshi Kitagawa is tagged out by Rakuten Golden Eagles catcher Akihito Fujii at the plate in the second inning at Fullcast Stadium.

Miyamoto singled up the middle off Shinobu Fukuhara (5-10) to score Kosei Ono, who had hit a leadoff double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kawashima at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Kawashima (6-7) scattered five hits while striking out five and walking one. Hirotoshi Ishii worked the ninth for his 19th save.

The Tigers lost for only the second time in 10 games.

BayStars 2, Carp 0

At Yokohama Stadium, Daisuke Miura (4-7) pitched a two-hitter and struck out 10 in his first shutout in three years, leading the BayStars to victory over Hiroshima.

Yokohama broke a scoreless deadlock in the eighth inning on a throwing error by Hiroshima shortstop Tomofumi Matsumoto and pinch-hitter Takanori Suzuki made it 2-0 on an RBI infield single off Hiroshima starter Tom Davey (2-2).

Dragons 12, Giants 2

At Sapporo Dome, Tyrone Woods hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the third inning and Kosuke Fukudome added a two-run shot in the fifth as Chunichi knocked out veteran lefty Kimiyasu Kudo (8-5) as the Dragons pounded Yomiuri.

Kenshin Kawakami (8-3) held the Giants to a run on seven hits in seven innings of work for the win.


Hawks 7, Fighters 3

At Tokyo Dome, Munenori Kawasaki homered for the second straight night with a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh inning as Softbank held off Nippon Ham.

Kawasaki broke a 2-2 tie when he connected off Satoru Kanemura (8-6) and Nobuhiko Matsunaka capped a three-run seventh with a solo shot — his lead-leading 29th homer — to make it 5-2.

Buffaloes 6, Eagles 0

At Fullcast Stadium, rookie right-hander Atsuhiro Mitsuhara pitched his first career shutout as Orix handed last-place Tohoku Rakuten its 12th shutout loss of the season.

Orix went ahead in the third on an RBI single by Keiichi Hirano and made it 4-1 with a three-run sixth keyed by a Mitsutaka Goto two-run single.

Kevin Hodges allowed four runs in six innings (2-8) in taking the loss.

Say it ain’t so, Jo

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Softbank Hawks will try hard to keep catcher Kenji Jojima with the Pacific League club amid speculation that he will pursue a career in the major leagues next season as a free agent, Hawks owner Masayoshi Son said Wednesday.

Son said he is ready to meet Jojima to help the Hawks maintain his services after the 29-year-old met the requirements to become a free agent earlier this month in his 11th season in Japanese baseball.

“I want to directly convey my wish for him to stay,” Son said. “I understand his dream but I also want him to keep playing for the Hawks for the fans in Fukuoka and Japan.”

Jojima has indicated he hopes to ply his trade in the major leagues or continue playing for the Hawks, saying he has no interest in moving to any of the other teams in Japan.

After the 2004 season, Jojima signed a one-year deal with the Hawks after rejecting a club offer for a three-year contract, prompting many to suspect that he was aiming for a major league switch as a free agent this fall.

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