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Yoshihiro Maru hit a pair of three-run homers and Hiroki Kuroda threw seven innings as the Hiroshima Carp whipped the Chunichi Dragons 12-2 in the Central League on Saturday afternoon.

Before Kuroda (4-1) did not walk a batter, nor did he allow two runners to reach in an inning until the fifth, when the Dragons cut Hiroshima’s lead to 2-1.

Dragons starter Junki Ito (0-1) held the Carp scoreless until Brad Eldred hit his ninth homer of the season in the fourth. A throwing error by veteran third baseman Masahiko Morino allowed a man to reach and Tomohiro Abe doubled in the runner to make it 2-0.

The Carp, however, took control in the home half on two singles and Maru’s fourth homer of the season. The top three in the Carp order repeated the process in the sixth against reliever Katsuki Matayoshi, when Maru went deep again.

The win saw the Carp replace the Dragons in second place.

BayStars 3, Tigers 2

At Koshien Stadium, Shoichi Ino (3-2) threw seven shutout innings and outlasted Hanshin’s Kyuji Fujikawa (1-2), who was effective over 6-2/3 innings but allowed his only run in the fourth, when Taiki Sekine led off with a single and scored on a sac fly.

Toshiro Miyazaki hit a pinch-hit home run in the eighth and Shotaro Ide had an RBI single in the ninth before the Tigers’ Mauro Gomez put his team on the board with his ninth home run, a two-run shot.

Swallows 4, Giants 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yasushi Iihara’s two-run, pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning off reliever Tetsuya Yamaguchi (0-2) brought Tokyo Yakult from a run down in a win over league-leading Yomiuri.

Wladimir Balentien had a a two-run, first-inning homer for the Swallows, while the Giants’ Hayato Sakamoto tied it with a third-inning solo shot, his fourth homer in four games.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Marines 5, Fighters 1

At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Chiab Lotte won its fourth straight as Jason Standridge (2-3) held Hokkaido Nippon Ham to one unearned run over 6-2/3 innings.

Shunichi Nemoto hit a two-run double off Anthony Bass (1-4) in the second and plated another with a sac fly in the fifth.

Buffaloes 5, Eagles 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix’s Chihiro Kaneko (1-2) earned his first win of the season with his first shutout in two years, allowing Tohoku Rakuten only three hits.

Eiichi Koyano singled in two runs in the sixth off rookie Tomohiro Anraku (0-1), who suffered his first career loss.

Lions 4, Hawks 4 (12)

At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Seibu’s Kona Takahashi issued a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to give Fukuoka SoftBank a 3-2 lead before Kenta Imamiya’s sac fly made it 4-2.

The Lions rallied in the seventh as Shogo Kimura tripled in a run and scored on Tatsuyuki Uemoto’s double. Neither team threatened after that and the game ended as a tie.

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