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Carp batters prop up Maeda in win over BayStars

Kyodo

Shogo Kimura hit a tiebreaking single and Ryuhei Matsuyama had a two-run homer to help make a winner of Kenta Maeda as the Hiroshima Carp beat the Yokohama BayStars 5-2 on Sunday afternoon.

It was the 20th victory of the year for the Central League-leading Carp.

Maeda (3-1) struggled with his location at times but yielded just two runs while scattering three hits over eight innings in front of a Golden Week holiday crowd of 31,800 at Mazda Stadium. He struck out four and walked two. Kam Mickolio, appearing for the first time in one week, worked the ninth for his ninth save.

“I wasn’t pitching very well. My teammates came through to score and that helped motivate me,” Maeda said. “My teammates drove in the go-ahead run, and I just buckled down and believed that I could win after that.”

BayStars leadoff man Takehiro Ishikawa led off the game with a home run over the right field wall before the Carp rallied to go ahead 2-1 on Matsuyama’s jack in the second.

“I looked for a pitch to drive on a fastball and just swung with all my might,” Matsuyama said.

Takayuki Kajitani hit a triple down the right-field line for his first career hit off Maeda and trotted home on Norihiro Nakamura’s sacrifice fly to tie it 2-all in the fourth.

Yoshihiro Maru hit a fourth-inning leadoff double and two outs later, the decision was made to have BayStars starter Guillermo Moscoso (2-3) walk Matsuyama with first base open. But the next batter, Kimura, made Yokohama pay with a flare to left for a 3-2 lead.

“Matsuyama hit a homer before that so (walking him) was expected. I just went for broke and the ball took off and fell in a good spot,” Kimura said.

The Carp were back for a second helping when they scored with two outs in the fifth — something they have consistently been able to accomplish this season.

Ryosuke Kikuchi and Maru had back-to-back two-out singles, setting up cleanup man Brad Eldred to drive in both runners on a single off the center field wall for a three-run Carp cushion. The BayStars saw their winning streak snapped at four.

Dragons 3, Giants 1

At Nagoya Dome, Daniel Cabrera (4-1) limited the damage to one run in six innings as Chunichi downed Yomiuri to snap a five-game skid. Player-manager Motonobu Tanishige had a tiebreaking single in the second. Giants ace Tetsuya Utsumi (0-3) remained winless after being tagged for 10 hits and three runs in six innings.

Tigers 4, Swallows 1

At Jingu Stadium, Naoto Tsuru (1-0) allowed a run in six innings to outduel Chris Narveson (0-2) as Hanshin defeated Tokyo Yakult. Kentaro Sekimoto, pinch hitting for Tsuru in the seventh, doubled in the tiebreaking run and Ryota Imanari belted a two-run homer in the ninth to ice it.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 1, Eagles 0

At Kobo Miyagi Stadium, Brian Wolfe (3-1) pitched one-run ball over seven solid innings and Nobuhiro Matsuda homered in his third straight game as Fukuoka Softbank blanked Tohoku Rakuten to move back into first place. Lefty Wataru Karashima (2-3) surrendered one run over eight innings in a losing effort.

Fighters 5, Buffaloes 4

At Sapporo Dome, Shohei Otani (3-1) got the job done in 6⅔ innings of four-run ball and Hokkaido Nippon Ham stretched its winning streak to a season-high five games to return to .500. Orix dropped into second after losing its fourth in a row.

Lions 9, Marines 8

At QVC Marine Field, Tomohito Yoneno tied a see-saw game with a bases-loaded two-run single in the ninth inning and Ginjiro Sumitani’s base hit gave his team the lead for good as Seibu took the rubber over Chiba Lotte to win only its second series this year.