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Andy Sheets homered and drove home four runs and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi combined with three relievers on a five-hit shutout as the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers blanked the Yakult Swallows 5-0 Friday.

News photoTakahiro Saeki (right) of the Yokohama BayStars celebrates with Takuro Ishii
after hitting a grand slam against the Carp in the sixth inning at Hiroshima
Stadium.

Sheets put Hanshin ahead with an RBI grounder in the first inning and then keyed a four-run seventh with a three-run homer after Takashi Toritani hit a run-scoring infield single at Koshien Stadium.

Shimoyanagi (9-1) held Yakult to three hits and two walks in six innings of work before giving way to the bullpen.

Ryo Kawashima (6-8) took the loss despite an equally impressive six-inning outing as the Swallows dropped five games under .500, matching their worst this season.

Dragons 4, Giants 0

At Tokyo Dome, Kenshin Kawakami threw his second complete-game shutout of the season and helped his own cause with a homer as Chunichi stretched its unbeaten streak to 10 games, including a tie.

Kawakami (10-3) outpitched Kimiyasu Kudo (8-6) with a two-hitter that moved him into a tie for the league lead with his 10th win. He struck out five and walked one in a 117-pitch outing.

Carp 8, BayStars 6

At Hiroshima Stadium, Koichi Ogata hit a pair of homers and Takahiro Arai and Koji Yamasaki added solo drives as Hiroshima held off Yokohama in a slugfest.

Ogata drove home four runs with a solo homer and a three-run drive while Arai increased his league lead with his 27th homer of the season as the Carp built a 7-0 lead through four innings.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Lions 3, Eagles 2

At Invoice Seibu Dome, Fumiya Nishiguchi pitched eight strong innings and Hiroyuki Nakajima drove home two runs to lead Seibu to victory over Tohoku Rakuten.

Nishiguchi (13-3) tied the league lead with his 13th win, holding the Eagles to two runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking none. Shinji Mori worked the ninth for the save.

Seibu took a 2-0 lead in the second on Nakajima’s RBI groundout and an RBI single by Shogo Akada before Nakajima doubled home a run in the fourth to make it 3-0.

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