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Tyrone Woods hit a grand slam in the third inning Wednesday as the Chunichi Dragons downed the Hanshin Tigers 7-5 at Koshien Stadium to pull within a half game of the Central League leaders.

Woods connected off Hanshin starter Kei Igawa as the Dragons took a 4-3 lead after a two-run homer by Makoto Imaoka and a solo blast by Akihiro Yano had given Hanshin the early lead.

Kosuke Fukudome added a solo blast in the third to make it 5-3.

“This was an important game and thankfully we came out on top tonight,” said Woods. “Igawa is a great pitcher but we just went up there and sat on the fastball.”

Chunichi starter Kenshin Kawakami picked up the win despite giving up five runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

BayStars 11, Carp 4

At Yokohama Stadium, Hitoshi Tamura drove in three runs, including a solo homer in the fourth, to lead the BayStars past Hiroshima.

Veteran Takuro Ishii hit a two-run homer in the third as the BayStars took an early 8-0 lead off Hiroshima starter Takayuki Oshima.

Giants 8, Swallows 7

At Osaka Dome, Hiroki Kokubo drove in a pair of runs with a clutch single in the bottom of the eighth to lift Yomiuri past Yakult.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 6, Marines 3

At Yahoo Dome, Jolbert Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning and catcher Kenji Jojima drove in three runs to power league-leading Softbank past Chiba Lotte.

Softbank starter Kazumi Saito picked up the win after holding the Marines to three runs on seven hits over 7 2/3 innings as the Hawks opened up a five-game lead over Lotte in the standings.

Saito won his 15th straight decision to match the best start to a season by a pitcher in Japanese baseball.

Lions 8, Buffaloes 1

At Skymark Stadium, Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out nine while giving up one run on seven hits over the distance as Seibu downed Orix.

Hiroyuki Nakajima doubled in a pair of runs in the seventh and hit a solo homer in the ninth to lead the Seibu attack.

Yasuyuki Kataoka added a three-run homer in the ninth to widen the lead to 8-1.

Eagles 6, Fighters 1

At Fullcast Stadium, Kenshi Kawaguchi drove in three runs on a single in the fifth inning and a double in the sixth as Tohoku Rakuten downed Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Rakuten starter Hideki Asai struck out 11 and picked up the win after holding the Fighters to one run on seven hits over the distance.

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