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Fighters sweep Buffaloes for share of PL lead

Kyodo

Masaru Takeda pitched one-run ball over six innings and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters erupted in a five-run second en route to a sweep of the Orix Buffaloes in a 7-2 victory on Sunday.

With its third win in a row and seventh in eight games, the Fighters moved into a share of first with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Pacific League.

Takeda (2-1) scattered seven hits, struck out four and walked one.

“My nail was split sideways (in the fifth), so I couldn’t throw hard enough. Our team scored first and I was able to hang tough,” Takeda said.

Marines 6, Eagles 0

At Chiba Marine Stadium, second-year right-hander Yuki Karakawa threw his first career shutout as Chiba Lotte downed Tohoku Rakuten.

Karakawa (3-2) yielded eight hits and got in and out of trouble, but struck out 11 batters over the distance.

Tadahito Iguchi hit a two-run homer with two outs in the first and Chase Lambin added a solo blast in the second — both off of Golden Eagles starter Darrell Rasner (2-2). Benny Agbayani added more damage with a two-run drive in the eighth.

Hawks 8, Lions 1

At Yahoo Dome, lefty Toshiya Sugiuchi struck out 12 and limited the damage to a solo homer by Hiram Bocachica in eight innings, leading the way in Softbank’s rout of Seibu.

Painting the corners to perfection, Sugiuchi (4-1) yielded just four hits and one walk. Rookie Ryoma Nogami(0-2) took the loss.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants 8, Dragons 7

At Tokyo Dome, Hayato Sakamoto hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning as Yomiuri rallied to beat Chunichi for its fifth win in a row.

Sakamoto homered to left-center off Shinsuke Saito (2-1) to cap his 3-for-5 afternoon. Michihiro Ogasawara also had a big game, driving in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a homer.

Tony Blanco drove in three runs for Chunichi.

Tigers 12, BayStars 4

At Yokohama Stadium, the Tigers took advantage of the BayStars’ sloppy defense and snapped a three-game losing streak by scoring a season-high-tying 12 runs.

Yokohama first baseman Dan Johnson let Tomoaki Kanemoto’s bases-loaded grounder get past him, allowing two runs to score for a 2-2 tie, followed by the go-ahead run on a balk by Futoshi Kobayashi (1-2).

Swallows 4, Carp 1

At Matsuyama Botchan Stadium, pinch hitter Shinichi Takeuchi and Keizo Kawashima hit back-to-back RBI singles in a three-run sixth inning that broke a 1-1 tie as Yakult beat Hiroshima to pick up its fourth win in five games.