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Kenta Maeda threw eight innings and Brad Eldred’s second home run in two nights gave the Hiroshima Carp the early lead in a 2-0 win over the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers on Thursday.

The Carp’s fourth straight win completed a sweep of their rain-abbreviated two-game series and pulled them to within 4-1/2 games of first place.

Before 32,092 at Mazda Stadium, Maeda (10-7) scattered four hits and three walks, while striking out seven in a 113-pitch effort.

“Brad’s homer gave us the first lead, and I dug in to protect it,” said Maeda, who has reached double digits in wins for the sixth straight season.

Eldred went deep with one out in the second off Tigers lefty Minor uIwata (7-7), an unlucky loser after allowing three other hits, all singles, and no walks over seven innings.

“We needed just one run, one big hit with Maeken pitching great,” said Eldred, who has 11 homers this season after leading the CL last year. “I’m making some adjustments and the big thing is I’m not missing the good pitches instead of fouling them off.”

Hiroshima scored an insurance run in the eighth off Yuya Ando, but closer Shota Nakazaki was tested in the ninth. A bloop single and a hard-hit ground single put two on with one out, but the right-hander worked out of a jam to record his 20th save.

Swallows 2, Giants 0

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yomiuri wasted one scoring chance after another until Tokyo Yakult broke through against lefty Aaron Poreda (7-6) for two runs in the eighth.

Poreda allowed just three hits and a walk, but was pulled after Hiroyasu Tanaka’s pinch-hit single put runners on the corners.

CL batting leader Shingo Kawabata singled in two runs to break the deadlock as the Swallows shut out Yomiuri for the second straight game to complete a series sweep.

Dragons 5, BayStars 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Yudai Ono (11-7) allowed two runs in seven innings, and took over the league lead in wins when Chunichi came from two runs down in a four-run sixth inning against Yokohama.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Lions 6, Fighters 0

At Sapporo Dome, Kazuhisa Makita (6-8) worked six innings to win for the first time since July 7 behind home runs from leadoff man Shogo Akiyama and cleanup hitter Takeya Nakamura, who slugged his NPB-leading 34th as Seibu downed Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Eagles 6, Buffaloes 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix right-hander Brandon Dickson (8-9), pitching for the first time in a month due to a ribcage injury, allowed six runs in 4-1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season as Tohoku Rakuten snapped an eight-game losing streak.

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