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Atsushi Nomi pitched seven shutout innings and Kosuke Fukudome hit his 20th home run of the season as the Hanshin Tigers defeated the Hiroshima Carp 3-0 to snap a four-game losing streak on Friday night.

Nomi (11-12) allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two and got early run support from Fukudome and Matt Murton. Oh Seung-hwan closed out the win for his 41st save of the season.

The win put the Tigers within 4-1/2 games of the Central League-leading Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

“There is a limit to what we can do but the pennant race is not out of our reach and we have to just take each game as it comes,” Nomi said.

Fukudome opened the scoring in the first inning when he smacked a two run homer off Yuya Fukui (9-6) and the former Chicago Cub came home on Murton’s single as the Tigers stretched their lead with what proved to be the final run in the top of the third.

“Getting runs early on helps me gather pace and I am grateful to Fukudome and Murton,” Nomi said.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Buffaloes 4, Fighters 1

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix starter Bryan Bullington (4-3) pitched six innings of one-run ball for his first win since July 11 and five relievers combined to keep Hokkaido Nippon Ham scoreless the rest of the way.

The Buffaloes halted their losing streak at four.

Marines 6, Hawks 3

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Alfredo Despaigne hit a three-run homer in a four-run first inning — his first in 16 games — to help Chiba Lotte earn its fourth straight victory.

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