Rookie Daichi Osera tossed eight innings of two-run ball Friday, leading the Hiroshima Carp in a 7-2 rout over the Yomiuri Giants in the opener of a three-game series.
Brad Eldred, Ryosuke Kikuchi and Tetsuya Kokubo each homered and the Central League front-running Carp, who are 20-0 this season when leading after six innings, banged out 12 hits in support of the 22-year-old Osera at Tokyo Dome.
The Giants, who have fallen into third place, have lost a season-worst five in a row.
Osera (5-1) won his fifth consecutive decision. He yielded five hits, struck out four and walked one in a 122-pitch outing.
“My teammates scored for me first and that resulted in me being able to really pitch aggressively tonight,” said Osera.
The last time the Carp No. 1 draft pick faced the Giants on April 9, he gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings of a loss at Tokyo Dome.
Eldred had a two-run drive in a three-run third against lefty Tetsuya Utsumi (0-4), who remains winless in eight starts since the start of the season. Kikuchi added a one-out, solo shot to left in the fifth and Kokubo took the lefty deep the same direction with two outs in the sixth to make it 5-1.
Jose Lopez and Hayato Sakamoto hit solo shots in the fifth and sixth, respectively, for Yomiuri.
The Giants could have made it more on Sakamoto’s two-out drive, but Hisayoshi Chono, who led off the frame with a single, was out getting back to first base when Yasuyuki Kataoka lined out to second.
Kila Ka’aihue hit an RBI double in the eighth and Kikuchi capped the scoring with an RBI single in the ninth.
Swallows 7, Dragons 4
At Nagoya Dome, Kazuhiro Hatakeyama homered and drove in four runs on a 3-for-4 night against Chunichi, leading Tokyo Yakult to its first four-game winning streak this season.
The Swallows have had double-digit hits in four consecutive games.
Chris Narveson (1-3) allowed three runs in six innings for his first win in Japan.
BayStars 3, Tigers 1
At Koshien Stadium, second-year right-hander Shoichi Ino (6-2) came within two outs of a complete game and matched the league high with his sixth win as Yokohama snapped a three-game skid.
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first.
Fighters 11, Marines 1
At Sapporo Dome, Juan Miranda drove in five runs with two of Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s five homers against Chiba Lotte and the Fighters won their fourth in a row to move one game above .500 for the first time in nearly a month.
Yoshihisa Naruse (3-4) was roughed up for 10 runs in five innings of the loss.
Buffaloes 4, Hawks 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Chihiro Kaneko (3-3) limited the damage to one run, despite yielding eight hits in eight innings and Yoshihisa Hirano worked the ninth to post his 14th save this season as Orix won three in a row and moved within a half game of first-place Fukuoka Softbank.