• Kyodo News


Yoshinobu Takahashi hit two of his team’s four home runs off Kenshin Kawakami as the Yomiuri Giants overtook the Chunichi Dragons for first place in the Central League with a 6-3 win on Thursday.

News photoYomiuri Giants outfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi hits his second home run of the night in the sixth inning against the Chunichi Dragons on Thursday at Tokyo Dome. The Giants won 6-3.

Lee Seung Yeop, Takahashi and Shinnosuke Abe each hit a solo homer between the third and fifth innings to erase a 3-0 deficit.

Takahashi’s two-run shot over the left-field wall broke the stalemate and put Yomiuri ahead 5-3 in the sixth at Tokyo Dome.

Tetsuya Utsumi (12-5) allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. Kawakami (10-7) was charged with five runs and five hits in six innings.

Yoshitomo Tani doubled in an insurance run for Yomiuri in the seventh. Norihiro Nakamura hit a two-run homer to cap Chunichi’s three-run third.

Swallows 8, Tigers 1

At Jingu Stadium, Yuichi Matsumoto went 4-for-4 with a grand slam and six RBIs in his first top-team appearance of the season as Tokyo Yakult routed Hanshin to snap a three-game losing streak.

Matsumoto hit a grand slam off Naohisa Sugiyama (4-5) to push Yakult’s lead to 5-0 in the third inning and added a two-run single in the seventh.

The Brazilian-born outfielder had singles in his other two at-bats.

Seth Greisinger (13-4) became the first 13-game winner in the league after holding Hanshin to one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.

BayStars 6, Carp 2

At Hiroshima Stadium, Toshihisa Nishi and Shingo Nonaka drove in two runs apiece, leading Yokohama over Hiroshima.

Yokohama broke the game open in the sixth as Nonaka followed a Nishi RBI single with a two-run triple for a 6-1 lead. Nishi also had a run-scoring double in the second.

Naoki Mitsuhashi (1-0) allowed one run and five hits in five innings.


Marines 4, Eagles 3

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Toshiaki Imae scored the game-winning run on a throwing error by shortstop Naoto Watanabe in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Marines a victory over Tohoku Rakuten.

Imae had a leadoff single, moved to second on a walk to Tsuyoshi Nishioka and scored after Watanabe made an errant relay throw to first on a potential double play grounder by Daisuke Hayakawa.

Yasuhiko Yabuta (2-5) got the win with a perfect 10th. Shinichiro Koyama (1-1) took the loss.

Veteran Rakuten slugger Takeshi Yamasaki hit his Pacific League-leading 38th home run, one more than Tuffy Rhodes of the Orix Buffaloes.

Hawks 4, Lions 1

At Fukuoka’s Yahoo Dome, Hidenori Tanoue hit a tiebreaking two-run homer among his three hits as the Hawks beat Seibu for their third straight win.

Jason Standridge (4-0) held Seibu to one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Takahiro Mahara closed out the ninth to pick up his league-leading 31st save.

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