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Masanori Ishikawa held Yomiuri to two runs over 7-2/3 innings as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows won 5-2 on Tuesday, moving into second and within a game of the Giants in the Central League.

The Swallows staked Ishikawa (8-9) to a five-run lead by the fifth, with the southpaw not allowing a hit until the sixth. Ishikawa gave up a solo home run to Shinnosuke Abe in the seventh and a sac fly to Yoshiyuki Kamei in the eighth before calling it a night.

“I drove myself from the off, thinking of going as far as I can,” said Ishikawa, who allowed four hits, struck out four and walked two. “(Catcher) Yuhei Nakamura called a good game, which allowed me to pitch comfortably.”

Triple Crown-chasing Tetsuto Yamada, starting the game with a league-leading .333 batting average and 31 home runs to go along with 79 RBIs, walked in his first two at-bats before going deep for No. 32 in the fifth, a two-run homer off reliever Seiji Tahara that made it 5-0.

Giants’ starter Yuki Koyama (0-1) immediately loaded the bases in the first, and after two outs, issued a walk to Lastings Milledge to hand the Swallows a lead.

Nakamura hit a solo shot off the right-hander’s first pitch in the second and after retiring two, Koyama walked two more and was given the hook.

Tahara took the mound but allowed Kazuhiro Hatakeyama, who leads the CL with 85 RBIs, a two-out RBI single to give Yakult a 3-0 lead.

Dragons 5, BayStars 4 (12)

Tigers at Carp — ppd.——-

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Fighters 2, Lions 0

At Sapporo Dome, Shingo Ishikawa singled in two runs off Seibu’s Takayuki Kishi (3-5) in the fourth, and Luis Mendoza (8-6) threw six shutout innings for Hokkaido Nippon Ham to earn the win.

Hawks 7, Marines 4

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Chiba Lotte’s Rhee Dae-eun (9-4) issued three straight walks with two outs in the sixth before surrendering a go-ahead grand slam to Fukuoka Softbank’s Seiji Uebayashi, his first career home run.

Buffaloes 1, Eagles 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Chihiro Kaneko (7-5) scattered four hits in seven shutout innings for Orix, which climbed out of last place for the first time this season, as Tohoku Rakuten wasted a strong start from Takahiro Norimoto (6-10), who allowed four hits and struck out 10 over seven innings.

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