Takayuki Shimizu drove in a pair of runs Sunday to lead the Yomiuri Giants to a 6-1 victory over the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome.
Shimizu gave the Giants a 5-0 lead with a single up the middle as Yomiuri erupted for five runs in the second inning to take an early 6-0 lead. Yomiuri rookie Hiroshi Kisanuki went the distance and improved to 5-3 as the Giants snapped a three-game losing skid. Despite the victory, the Giants failed to gain ground on the league-leading Hanshin Tigers, who defeated the Yokohama BayStars 6-2.
In an earlier game, George Arias belted a three-run homer in the fourth at Yokohama Stadium and Shinjiro Hiyama added a solo shot in the eighth as the front-running Tigers defeated Yokohama 6-2. With the victory, Hanshin won their 50th game of the season and their 16th straight over the last-place BayStars. The Tigers opened up a commanding 12-1/2-game lead over the Dragons in the Central League standings.
In Hiroshima, Noriyuki Shiroishi drove in the winning run with a single in the top of the 10th inning to lift the Yakult Swallows to a 10-9 win over the Hiroshima Carp.
Canadian Todd Betts hit a two-run homer and Katsuyuki Dobashi added a solo shot as the Swallows rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
In the Pacific League, Takashi Tachikawa drove in the winning run in the first inning as the Lotte Marines edged the Orix BlueWave 3-2 to hand the struggling Pacific League team their 23rd straight Sunday loss. Orix scored two runs in the top of the first at Chiba Marine Stadium.
Kazuya Fukuura and Jose Fernandez had back-to-back RBI hits before Tachikawa gave the home team the lead for good with a single to left off Orix starter Hiroshi Kobayashi.
In Tokyo, Tetsuya Matoyama and Daisuke Masuda both connected for homers to power the Kintetsu Buffaloes to a 2-1 victory over the Nippon Ham Fighters.