The Central League-leading Hiroshima Carp belted three home runs in a 16-hit attack and held off a late challenge to beat the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 13-7 on Thursday and avoid a three-game sweep at Jingu Stadium.
Behind rookie Daichi Osera (4-1), Brad Eldred gave the visiting Carp a first-inning lead with a two-run double off Takeaki Tokuyama (0-1).
Tokuyama kept Yakult in the game until the fifth inning, when he allowed three runs on back-to-back, no-out homers to Yoshihiro Maru and Eldred. Reliever Yuki Shichijo, however, was unable to halt Hiroshima’s momentum in the inning as he allowed two walks and two hits, including a two-run single by Shota Dobayashi.
Osera appeared set to cruise but his game unraveled in the Swallows’ sixth, when he allowed five runs.
The rookie earned the win despite giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk in 5-1/3 innings. He struck out seven.
The Carp put the game out of reach in the ninth on a three-run double by Naoki Nakahigashi, a pinch-hit RBI single by Tetsuya Kokubo and a two-run homer by Ryuhei Matsuyama.
The victory lifted Hiroshima two games ahead of the second-place Yomiuri Giants and the third-place Hanshin Tigers.
BayStars 7, Giants 6
At Tokyo Dome, Takehiro Ishikawa tied it game with sixth-inning RBI single, and pinch hitter Hitoshi Tamura singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth as Yokohama defeated Yomiuri.
Dragons 2, Tigers 1
At Nagoya Dome, Masahiro Araki broke a ninth-inning tie with a two-out, bases-loaded single to lift Chunichi past Hanshin after Hector Luna tied it for the Dragons with an eighth-inning solo homer.