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Baseball: Swallows beat Tigers 3-1 for 5th straight win

NISHINOMIYA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Hirofumi Yamanaka earned his first win of the season on Thursday as the Yakult Swallows stuck out a 3-1 victory over the Hanshin Tigers.

In his 10th appearance this year, Yamanaka (1-0) fanned three and allowed an unearned run in 7-1/3 innings, while the Swallows capitalized on Hanshin errors to scrape out their fifth straight win.

With the game scoreless in the fifth, Tigers starter Hiroto Saiki (4-7) fanned his first batter but yielded a walk to Yuhei Nakamura.

Yamanaka reached on a bunt when catcher Ryutaro Umeno underthrew to second, allowing Nakamura to find third. On the next play, Nakamura crossed the plate on Tomotaka Sakaguchi's sacrifice fly for the opening run at Koshien Stadium.

Norichika Aoki drove in the Swallows' second run when Saiki got into a bases-loaded jam in the seventh off two walks and another fielding error.

The Tigers got on the board in the eighth after Umeno led off the inning with a double. Kento Itohara later smashed a line drive to right, and a fumbled scoop from outfielder Yuhei Takai allowed Umeno to drive home.

Sakaguchi's RBI double to left center in the ninth capped the scoring, and Taichi Ishiyama earned his 25th save for a perfect ninth as Yakult retain second place in the Central League.

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Carp 6, Giants 2

At Tokyo Dome, Xavier Batista's solo shot and a sac fly in the second gave league-leading Hiroshima an early three-run lead, and a late rally secured it as Yomiuri fell further into third in the division.

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BayStars 4, Dragons 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo blasted a three-run homer in the third, while DeNA rookie Katsuki Azuma (9-5) fanned seven and scattered four hits over seven scoreless innings as the BayStars moved up to fifth above last-place Chunichi. Dayan Viciedo went 3-for-4 and earned his 46th hit of the month, tying the CL record set by ex-Giants third baseman Shuichi Murata in 2013.

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Pacific League

Buffaloes 6, Fighters 1

At Kyocera Dome, Hiroyuki Nakajima doubled in the go-ahead run in the first as Orix overturned an early deficit and ended Nippon Ham's three-game winning streak. Taisuke Yamaoka (5-10) fanned eight and allowed a run in 6-2/3 innings.

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