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Yusuke Nomura allowed just one single over eight scoreless innings as the Hiroshima Carp tightened up the Central League pennant race with a 4-1 win over the second-place Yokohama BayStars on Thursday night.

Nomura (6-3) struck out six without issuing a walk, and was gifted a one-run lead in the fourth, when Ryosuke Kikuchi doubled and scored from third on a delayed double steal.

“I had a good feel for my pitches today, and the guys played great baseball behind me,” Nomura said.

The win lifted the third-place Carp to a half-game behind the BayStars. The Yomiuri Giants are leading the six-team league.

Yokohama starter Masaya Kyoyama (0-5) was pulled for a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth, and the Carp went to the bank against lefty Shuto Sakurai in the home half of the inning.

With one out and two on, Xavier Batista set a career high with his 26th home run to all but put the game out of reach.

Tigers 5, Swallows 3

Giants 3, Dragons 3 (12)

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Buffaloes 5, Fighters 2

At Hokkaido Prefecture’s Asahikawa Starffin Stadium, Taiwanese rookie Chang Yi (1-0) allowed one run over six innings, while striking out six as Orix completed a three-game sweep of Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Stefen Romero and Steven Moya both homered for the Buffaloes.

Hawks 5, Mariners 3

Eagles at Lions (late)

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