• Kyodo


Hitoshi Tamura and Masaaki Koike homered and right-hander Takashi Saito pitched six effective innings Friday to help the Yokohama BayStars to a 6-1 win over the Chunichi Dragons.

News photoSafe at home: Mark Grudzielanek of the Cardinals scores ahead of a late tag by San Diego’s Ramon Hernandez in the fourth inning of Game 2 of their National League Division Series on Thursday in St. Louis. The Cards won 6-2.

Tamura opened the scoring in the third when he connected off Atsushi Nakazato (1-1) for a two-run shot. Koike and Tatsuhiko Kinjo banged out back-to-back RBI hits to make it 4-1 in the seventh after Chunichi cut the deficit to one run in the fourth on a Tyrone Woods homer.

Yokohama added two runs on a bases-loaded wild pitch by Chunichi reliever Akifumi Takahashi in the eighth and Koike’s solo homer in the ninth. Saito (3-4) gave up one run on four hits while striking out five and walking one.

Yokohama moved back into third place in the Central League standings while the second-place Dragons ended the season with five straight losses and at 79-66 with a tie.

Carp 13, Swallows 4

At Jingu Stadium, Takahiro Arai hit a go-ahead two-run triple in a three-run eighth inning as Hiroshima went on to snap Yakult’s winning streak at three games.

Arai’s clutch hit gave Hiroshima the lead for the third time in the game and helped Hiroki Kuroda (15-11) tie the league lead with Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi of the Hanshin Tigers with 15 wins.

Kuroda started the fifth in relief of Kan Otake with Hiroshima leading 4-2. But the All-Star right-hander allowed Yakult to tie the game at 4-4 on a pair of wild pitches in the sixth.

Shigenobu Shima homered twice, including a three-run shot in a six-run ninth.

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