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Bullington silences Tigers; Maru scores three runs in rout

Kyodo

Bryan Bullington won his second consecutive start with a quality outing, allowing just one run over eight sharp innings in the Hiroshima Carp’s 8-2 rout of the Hanshin Tigers on Thursday night.

The Central League-leading Carp, who moved six games above .500 for the first time in 14 seasons, took the rubber of the three-game set at Mazda Stadium. The Tigers slipped into third place.

Bullington (2-2) scattered five hits with no walks in a tidy 100-pitch outing.

Ryuhei Matsuyama opened the scoring with a two-run single down the left field line in the first inning.

After Yoshihiro Maru led off the third with a triple to right, cleanup hitter Brad Eldred hit a two-run drive off Randy Messenger that narrowly cleared the center-field wall to make it 4-0. Maru was 3-for-4 with three runs scored.

“It was a good night. Matsuyama had a big hit for us early in the game and then Brad hit the homer in the third. Going against Messenger, you know it’s going to be a tough night to score runs and we were able to get some early tonight,” said Bullington.

Said Eldred: “Obviously we got some good support for Bully (Bullington) today and I’m glad I was able to get that home run early. Maru was on third, starting out with a big hit, and I was just trying to do something simple, get it in the air. I was able to get it up and it went over the fence.”

Mauro Gomez, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, got his first home run in Japan, a one-out solo blast in the fourth. Ryota Arai drove in Hanshin’s only other run with an RBI single in the ninth.

Messenger (1-2) was tagged for six runs and seven hits in six shaky innings.

Giants 5, Swallows 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Giants captain Shinnosuke Abe went deep twice for his fourth home run in two games and Yomiuri beat Tokyo Yakult for the second straight night, despite two homers from single-season record holder Wladimir Balentien, who drove in all the Swallows’ runs.

Scott Mathieson got his first save in two seasons with a scoreless ninth.

Dragons 6, BayStars 5

At Nagoya Dome, Hector Luna had a tying RBI double with one out in the ninth inning and Ryosuke Hirata followed with a walkoff single as Chunichi beat Yokohama and went one game above .500 for the first time in two seasons. Rookie No. 2 draft pick Katsuki Matayoshi (1-0) pitched the ninth for his first career win.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Buffaloes 7, Fighters 5

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Ryoichi Adachi and Wily Mo Pena both hit three-run homers to rally their team from behind, rookie right-hander Daiki Tomei (1-0) pitched 2/1-3 scoreless innings in relief for his first career win and Orix held off Hokkaido Nippon Ham.

Lions 13, Marines 4

At Seibu Dome, Hideto Asamura homered twice off Takahiro Fujioka (0-1), featuring a grand slam in the first inning, and Seibu walloped Chiba Lotte to snap a four-game losing streak.

Rookie reliever Takuya Toyoda (1-0) got the win.