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Yasutomo Kubo pitched a four-hit shutout to win his 14th game of the season as the Hanshin Tigers cruised past the Yokohama BayStars 5-0 on Wednesday.

Kubo (14-5) struck out seven and allowed just four hits and a walk over the distance for the Tigers, who won their fourth straight and can sew up second place in the Central League with a win over the last-place BayStars in their season finale Thursday.

The victory moved the Tigers a half-game ahead of the third-place Yomiuri Giants, who face the Hiroshima Carp at Tokyo Dome on Thursday.

It was Kubo’s first shutout since July last year. Hanshin was led at the plate by Takashi Toritani, who had three hits in four at-bats and drove in a pair of runs.

Hanshin’s Matt Murton went 0-for-3 a night after breaking Ichiro Suzuki’s NPB single-season hits record.

Swallows 2, Carp 0

At Jingu Stadium, Shohei Tateyama (12-7) pitched his league-leading fourth shutout of the season as Tokyo Yakult won for the fourth time in its last five games.

Tateyama scattered five hits and had nine strikeouts in sending Hiroshima to its third straight loss. Hiroyasu Tanaka homered in the fifth inning to break up a 0-0 tie for the Swallows.

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