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Highs and lows …

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Highs and lows …


Swallows continue on high road; Giants stay on downward trend

The Yakult Swallows are taking giant steps all over Yomiuri.

Shohei Tateyama tossed a complete game and helped his own cause with an RBI double in a three-run second inning that propelled the Swallows past the Giants 4-2 on Wednesday at Jingu Stadium. It was Yakult’s sixth straight decision over the Giants, the first time they have won that many against Yomiuri since 1997.

Tateyama (7-1) pitched around nine hits and two hit batters with the help of nine Ks as the Central League’s front-running Swallows sent the Giants, who fell into fifth place the previous night, to their third consecutive loss and a season-worst nine games under .500.

Giants starter Norihito Kaneto (1-4) got knocked around for six hits and plunked two batters, getting a quick hook from skipper Tatsunori Hara with two outs in the second inning. Dickey Gonzalez gave the Giants an encouraging performance, working 4.1 scoreless innings to keep them close, but Shinnosuke Abe’s solo shot in the second and Hisayoshi Chono’s RBI single in the third were the only runs the Giants could muster.

The Swallows took the lead on Wladimir Balentien’s RBI groundout in the first, and Tateyama sparked the second-inning rally with a go-ahead RBI double. He scored on Josh Whitesell’s sac fly and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama capped the rally with an RBI single as Yakult won its fourth straight.

Whitesell took a pitch off the helmet in the first but stayed in the game.

DRAGONS 5, TIGERS 3

Part-timer Masaaki Koike blasted a grand slam in a five-run sixth as Chunichi rallied from a 3-0 deficit to top Hanshin at Nagoya Dome.

It was Koike’s fourth longball of the season and the third slam of his career, his first since June 8, 2006, when he played with Yokohama. Hitoki Iwase struck out the side in the ninth as the Dragons won their third straight.

BAYSTARS 4, CARP 0

Kentaro Takasaki (2-6) scattered four hits and a walk over eight shutout innings and Tatsuhiko Kinjo had two hits, an RBI and a run-saving catch late as host Yokohama stopped a five-game slide by beating Hiroshima in Okinawa.

Terrmel Sledge also had a two-run single in Yokohama’s three-run sixth.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

HAWKS 5, LIONS 2

Tsuyoshi Wada (7-1) won his seventh straight by firing eight scoreless innings, and Shuhei Fukuda drove in two runs to help SoftBank cruise past host Seibu and take a two-game lead in the PL.

Wada scattered four hits and three walk, while punching out nine. Seibu’s Takeya Nakamura blasted his Japan-leading 22nd longball, a solo shot to open the ninth, but the Lions lost their fifth straight.

EAGLES 5, BUFFALOES 3

Randy Ruiz ripped a solo shot to straightaway center -- his third hit of the night -- to tie the score in the ninth, and a wild pitch by Mamoru Kishida (1-3) and an RBI double by Teppei Tsuchiya completed a three-run rally as Rakuten came back to shock Orix at Kyocera Dome Osaka.

Kazuo Matsui also went deep for the fifth time this season, a fourth-inning solo blast, and Darrell Rasner (3-2) earned the win with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.

MARINES 1, FIGHTERS 0

Shingo Ono (2-0) scattered four hits over eight scoreless innings, and Kazuya Fukuura drove home the game’s only run with an RBI groundout in the fourth as Lotte knocked off Nippon Ham for the second straight night at The Q.


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