HIROSHIMA – Cleanup hitter Brad Eldred homered and went 3-for-4, Kenta Maeda had just enough in the tank and the Hiroshima Carp came from behind to rout the Chunichi Dragons 13-5 on Saturday afternoon.
The Central League-leading Carp won their third in a row and moved a season-high 12 games above .500. Chunichi committed four errors and sank five games below .500.
Maeda (4-1) gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings in front of a partisan crowd of 29,771 at Mazda Stadium. He struck out nine and walked one.
Masahiko Morino gave the visitors a 3-0 lead when he belted a three-run shot off Maeda with two outs in the first inning, but Hiroshima started the rally from the second against Dragons right-hander Daniel Cabrera (4-2).
Kila Ka’aihue, who drove in three runs with three hits, had an RBI single and Shogo Kimura followed with a sac fly to pull the Carp within one run. They piled on four runs in the third, featuring Ka’aihue’s two-run single.
With two outs and a runner on second in the fourth, Eldred homered over the left-field wall off reliever Yuta Muto to extend the lead to 8-3. Carp catcher Yoshiyuki Ishihara added a two-run single in the eighth.
Although the Carp had a big enough cushion for Maeda and the bullpen, it could have been a different story in a closer game as the CL leaders allowed the leadoff batter to reach in every inning except the second, fourth and ninth.
Zach Phillips, who has had stints with the Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins, allowed two hard-hit one-out singles in his first top-team relief outing in Japan after closer Kam Mickolio was deactivated earlier with an injury to his left leg.
The left-hander got Ryosuke Hirata to line out to shortstop to end it.
BayStars 2, Swallows 1
At Yokohama Stadium, Aarom Baldiris made the one hit surrendered by Chris Narveson (0-3) count, delivering a two-run homer in the seventh inning as the BayStars held off Tokyo Yakult for their third straight win to move into fifth place.
Giants 6, Tigers 3
Marines 4, Eagles 1
At QVC Marine Field, lefty Takahiro Fujioka (2-1) yielded one run on four hits in seven innings and Daichi Suzuki had a two-run single as Chiba Lotte beat Tohoku Rakuten. Takahiro Shiomi (2-3) took the loss.
Buffaloes 8, Fighters 1
At Hotto Motto Field, Brandon Dickson carried a no-hit bid into the eighth and struck out 10 over the distance, and Yoshio Itoi homered twice with four RBIs as Orix blew out Masaru Takeda (1-3) and Hokkaido Nippon Ham. Dickson (4-3) walked five and allowed two hits.
Hawks 3, Lions 2