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Hisanori Takahashi pitched a one-hitter and struck out eight over eight innings Tuesday night, helping the Yomiuri Giants end their four-game losing skid with a 1-0 shutout of the Yokohama BayStars.

News photoYokohama Baystars reliever Kazuhiro Sasaki, who will retire after the season, delivers a pitch
against longtime rival Kazuhiro Kiyohara of the Yomiuri Giants in a one batter relief
appearance in the second inning on Tuesday night at Fullcast Stadium. Sasaki struck out
Kiyohara before leaving the game held in his hometown.

Takahashi (6-6) held Yokohama to a first-inning single by Masaaki Koike and issued three walks while retiring 15 straight batters in one stretch.

Toshihisa Nishi hit a bases-loaded single off Ken Kadokura (7-5) in the sixth inning to drive in the only run of the game. Masanori Hayashi pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save.

Former Seattle Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, who announced Sunday that he will retire after the season, worked one-third of an inning in the second and struck out Kazuhiro Kiyohara.

Swallows 5, Carp 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult snapped a 2-2 tie on a fielder’s choice grounder by Atsuya Furuta and an error by Hiroshima shortstop Akihiro Higashide in a three-run sixth inning en route to its fourth straight victory.

Dragons 11, Tigers 7

At Nagoya Dome, Alex Ochoa hit a three-run homer to key a nine-run rally in the fifth as Chunichi topped Hanshin.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 9, Lions 3

At Seibu Dome, Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit a three-run homer to ignite a six-run first inning and Kazumi Saito stretched his personal winning streak to 12 games as front-running Softbank hammered Seibu.

Buffaloes 7, Eagles 3

At Kobe’s Skymark Stadium, Hirotoshi Kitagawa singled home the go-ahead run as Orix downed Rakuten.

Fighters 6, Marines 4, (12)

Nippon Ham broke a 4-4 tie on a one-out bases-loaded single by Tomochika Tsuboi and a Michihiro Ogasawara RBI goundout in the top of the 12th inning, coming back from four runs down to beat Lotte at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Fernando Seguignol homered in a two-run seventh to ignite the rally and ninth-inning RBIs from Atsunori Inaba and pinch-hitter Tomoyuki Oda sent the game into extra innings.

NPB eyes testing

Nippon Professional Baseball is apparently considering introducing drug testing as early as this season after a weekly tabloid article reported that players from the Chiba Lotte Marines were allegedly using a type of illegal stimulant.

Chiba Lotte team representative Ryuzo Setoyama said on Monday there is no evidence to substantiate the article from the Aug. 19-26 issue of Shukan Asahi accusing some of the Pacific League team’s players of taking an amphetamine-like stimulant.

“This article has no basis and there is no evidence to support it,” said Setoyama.

Setoyama added that “NPB is saying that it hopes to start doping tests in September this year,” suggesting that drug tests for banned substances will be introduced for the first time ever in Japanese baseball.

“We plan to debate in the committee when and what kinds of tests to conduct,” said Pacific League president Tadao Koike, who also chairs the NPB executive committee.

Chiba Lotte manager Bobby Valentine has denied that any of his players were taking illegal substances.

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