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Randy Messenger threw two-run ball over seven innings and was buoyed by Keiichi Hirano’s three-run homer as the Hanshin Tigers defeated the rival Yomiuri Giants 8-4 to move back into first place in the Central League standings on Wednesday.

Messenger (3-1) scattered 10 hits, struck out six and walked one at Tokyo Dome. He had a hit in the second inning that was initially ruled a home run but ended up a double after his fly ball was judged to have hit the top of the fence in left-center after review of the video replays.

Hirano went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including his drive to right-center that extended the lead to 8-1 in the sixth.

Yomiuri’s Alex Ramirez hit his league-leading 35th homer in the fourth and Ryota Wakiya had a two-run blast for the Giants in the ninth.

Tetsuya Utsumi (7-5) took the loss. The Giants saw their winning streak end at four games.

Wakiya has scored in 14 consecutive games to tie a CL record set by Takao Sato (Kokutetsu Swallows) in 1952.

Swallows 4, Dragons 2

At Jingu Stadium, Kazuhiro Hatakeyama opened the scoring with a solo homer in the first inning and Hiroyasu Tanaka delivered a tiebreaking single in the third as Tokyo Yakult downed Chunichi.

Shingo Kawabata went 4-for-4 with an RBI double off Daisuke Yamai (4-3) in the sixth, helping Tokyo Yakult win its fourth game in a row against Chunichi.

Masanori Ishikawa (7-8) held batters to one run and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking none to win his fifth consecutive start. Lim Chang Yong got his 22nd save. Chunichi is winless in its last five games.

BayStars 6, Carp 5

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Fighters 6, Hawks 4

At Asahikawa’s Starffin Stadium Eiichi Koyano hit a two-run drive to highlight four home runs off lefty Tsuyoshi Wada as Hokkaido Nippon Ham downed Fukuoka Softbank.

Yoshio Itoi broke a 1-1 tie with a solo blast in the fourth inning followed by a leadoff homer by Shota Ono in the fifth off Wada (13-5).

Koyano went deep in the sixth, which was capped off by Sho Nakata’s solo drive.

Masao Kida (5-1) held the damage to one run in five innings, striking out five and walking three. Hisashi Takeda picked up his seventh save. Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Hiroki Kokubo and Roberto Petagine hit solo homers for Softbank.

Eagles 5, Marines 3

At Kleenex Stadium, Teppei Tsuchiya had a game-tying RBI double and Takeshi Yamasaki followed with a two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning as Tohoku Rakuten beat Chiba Lotte to win its third in a row.

Koji Aoyama (4-1) pitched a scoreless inning in relief and Shinichiro Koyama picked up his ninth save.

Yasuhiko Yabuta was charged with the loss for Lotte, which lost a season’s worst sixth game in a row.

Lions at Buffaloes — late

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