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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011

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Timely hit: Hawks slugger Alex Cabrera hits an RBI double against the Marines on Tuesday at Yahoo Dome. The Hawks won 8-1. KYODO

Swallows serve up another win over Dragons

Kyodo

Tokyo Yakult continued to feast on the Chunichi Dragons as the first-place Swallows blanked the defending Central League champions 2-0 Tuesday night at Jingu Stadium.

Masanori Ishikawa threw seven strong innings and combined with two relievers for the shutout as the Swallows beat the Dragons for the ninth time in 13 games this season along with two ties.

Ishikawa (8-6) struck out four and allowed seven hits during his 108-pitch effort, snapping Chunichi's five-game unbeaten run that included four wins and a tie.

Yakult reliever Tony Barnette pitched the ninth to pick up his second save of the year, as the Swallows won their second in a row.

Ishikawa was backed up by catcher Ryoji Aikawa, who hit a solo shot off Chunichi starter Maximo Nelson (6-11) in the eighth.

The Swallows got to Nelson, who threw eight fewer pitches in going the distance, with two outs and runners on the corners in the sixth when Wladimir Balentien ripped an RBI double.

"My family came out to the ballpark for the first time in a while so I wanted to pitch well in front of them," Ishikawa said. "I got us into a jam because of an error I made (in the seventh) so I'm glad I never gave in.

"Thanks to the guys, we scored first and that made it easier for me to pitch aggressively. Today's game was important, especially facing Nelson who's a great pitcher," he said.

Giants 5, Tigers 2

At Tokyo Dome, veteran Yoshitomo Tani's pinch-hit single with two outs in the seventh put Yomiuri up for good.

BayStars 1, Carp 0

At Hiroshima's Mazda Stadium, Kentaro Takasaki (4-9) and four relievers combined to shut out Hiroshima as last-place Yokohama halted its slide at three games.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 8, Marines 1

At Fukuoka's Yahoo Dome, Yuichi Honda and Alex Cabrera had three hits apiece as Softbank ended a two-game skid with a win against defending Japan Series champion Chiba Lotte.

D.J. Houlton held the Marines to one earned run on four hits, striking out six as he improved to 13-5 on the year.

Eagles 6, Fighters 2

At Sapporo Dome, Hisashi Iwakuma (5-3) held Hokkaido Nippon Ham to one earned run in six-plus innings of work as Tohoku Rakuten snapped the Fighters' three-game winning streak.

Lions 11, Buffaloes 5

At Niigata's Hard Off Eco Stadium, Ryan Mulhern drove in four runs as Seibu comfortably defeated Orix.



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