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Cleanup-hitter Tomoaki Kanemoto homered and drove in four runs Saturday, helping the newly crowned Central League champion Hanshin Tigers overpower the Yakult Swallows, 10-5.

News photoTakahiro Saeki of the Yokohama BayStars hits a run-scoring double in the fourth inning against the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday at Tokyo Dome. The BayStars won 9-3.

Having recovered from their hangover of two nights ago when they clinched the CL pennant for the first time in two years, Hanshin produced 17 hits but almost saw a collapse of its pitching staff for the second night in a row at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

Kanemoto had an RBI single to open the scoring in a two-run first inning and hit a fifth-inning three-run blast to right, his 39th homer, to make it 5-0. Takashi Toritani and Lin Wei-zhu got back-to-back RBI hits with two out in the sixth.

Yakult had a five-run inning against Hanshin for the second consecutive night, pulling within 7-5 on two-run RBI hits from Mitsuru Manaka and Noriyuki Shiroishi in the sixth. But unlike the night before, the Tigers pulled out the win.

Pinch-hitter Shinjiro Hiyama cushioned the lead with a bases-loaded two-run double, followed by an Atsushi Fujimoto RBI single with one out in the ninth. Norihiro Akahoshi got two steals and reached 60 stolen bases for the third straight year.

Hanshin starter Yuya Ando (11-5) pitched five scoreless innings before his meltdown in the sixth but won his seventh straight decision. He allowed 10 hits, struck out two, walked none and hit a batter. Dickey Gonzalez (4-5) took the loss.

Dragons 6, Carp 3

At Nagoya Dome, Hitoki Iwase became the first pitcher in Japanese baseball history to earn 46 saves in a season in Chunichi’s victory over Hiroshima.

Iwase allowed two singles but closed out the ninth inning, eclipsing the previous record set in 1998 by Kazuhiro Sasaki with the Yokohama BayStars.

Tyrone Woods hit a leadoff homer in the second and Alex Ochoa doubled off Kan Otake (10-12) with two on in the sixth to put Chunichi ahead 3-2.

BayStars 9, Giants 3

At Tokyo Dome, Hitoshi Taneda went 3-for-5 with three RBIs as Yokohama sent bumbling Yomiuri to its sixth straight defeat and a club franchise worst 79th loss of the season.

Taneda had an RBI single in a three-run first and added a two-run single in the seventh, giving Yokohama a 6-3 lead against Hayato Nakamura (2-4). Yoshihiro Doi (9-10) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings for the win.

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