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Katsuhiko Miyaji went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Nobuhiko Matsunaka homered to lead the Pacific League-leading Softbank Hawks to a 7-4 victory over the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles on Tuesday night.

News photoSoftbank’s Nobuhiko Matsunaka watches his Pacific
League-leading 33rd home run leave the yard in the sixth inning against Rakuten at Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome.

Miyaji hit a two-run single and Jolbert Cabrera followed with a two-run double as Softbank jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, before Matsunaka connected off Keven Hodges (2-9) in the sixth to make it 5-2 at Yahoo Dome.

The blast was Matsunaka’s PL-best 33rd of the season.

Toshiya Sugiuchi (13-2) got his league-best 13th win after giving up four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings while striking out seven and walking two.

The Hawks snapped their losing streak at three games.

Marines 4, Fighters 2 (10)

At Sapporo Dome, Tasuku Hashimoto and Toshiaki Imae hit back-to-back solo homers in the top of the 10th inning, giving Chiba Lotte its second straight win following a three-game losing streak.

Buffaloes 3, Lions 0

At Invoice Seibu Dome, Hirotoshi Kitagawa broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the sixth inning and Cliff Brumbaugh drove in an insurance run with a solo shot in the ninth, as Orix blanked Seibu to move into third place in the league standings.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Dragons 2, Carp 1

In Nagoya, Tyrone Woods hit a game-tying double in the sixth inning and Kazuyoshi Tatsunami drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning as Chunichi rallied to beat Hiroshima for its sixth straight win.

Swallows 4, Giants 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Atsuya Furuta homered for the second straight night with a go-ahead two-run shot in the second inning and Shugo Fujii pitched seven strong innings, helping Yakult hold off Yomiuri to snap its three-game losing skid.

Fujii (6-6) allowed one run on four hits for the win, while Koji Uehara (6-8) was saddled with the loss.

Tigers 1, BayStars 1 (12)

New draft approved

Japanese professional baseball owners Tuesday approved the introduction of a new amateur draft system that will see high school players picked separately from other draft choices, including collegiate and corporate league players.

The new system calls for the 12 Central and Pacific League teams to get together in early October to select high school players before meeting again in mid-November for the selection of other players.

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