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Potent offense, stellar pitching carry Carp past BayStars

Kyodo

Tomohiro Abe hit a two-run single in the bottom of the first inning to erase an early deficit and put the Hiroshima Carp in a 9-2 victory over the Yokohama BayStars on Thursday.

Yuta Nakamura (2-0) scattered seven hits and yielded two walks over six innings but held the visitors to two runs, while three relievers combined to keep the BayStars at bay, limiting its offense to two hits in the ninth at Mazda Stadium .

With Yokohama leading 2-0 in the first, cleanup hitter Seiya Suzuki doubled home a run and Abe followed with his RBI hit before Tsubasa Aizawa capped a four-run frame with an RBI double to center.

The Carp, who had 13 hits, added more runs in the second on Yoshihiro Maru’s two-run blast, sending BayStars starter Kentaro Taira (1-1) to the showers. Brad Eldred hammered his league-leading 11th homer into the left-center stands in the fifth.

“Yuta was hanging in there, so I wanted to help him somehow,” Abe said of his first at-bat with one out and runners on second and third base. “I didn’t want to be too aggressive and had my mind on just keeping our offense going. … I’m glad it turned out to be an RBI hit that put us ahead.”

Second-place Hiroshima stands 1.5 games behind the Hanshin Tigers after Thursday’s games.

Swallows 1, Giants 0

At Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Yakult veteran Masanori Ishikawa (4-3) scattered seven hits over 5-1/3 innings and four relievers combined to keep Yomiuri scoreless as the Swallows edged the Giants.

Catcher Yuhei Nakamura scored the only run of the game on Ishikawa’s groundout in the third.

Dragons 2, Tigers 1

At Koshien Stadium, Ryosuke Hirata doubled home the winning run in the eighth as Chunichi snapped its three-game losing streak.

Jordan Norberto (3-0) allowed one run on seven hits and a walk over 7-1/3 innings, while Tigers starter Randy Messenger (5-1) was tagged with his first loss this year after yielding two runs in eight innings.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Lions 5, Marines 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Ernesto Mejia opened the scoring with an RBI single in the second and Hideto Asamura drove in two runs the following inning as Seibu claimed its sixth win in a row.

Seibu dropped its eighth consecutive game.

Ken Togame (1-2) picked up his first victory this season, allowing four hits in eight innings.

Hawks 7, Buffaloes 2

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Yuki Yanagita hit a game-tying RBI double in the fifth and Seiichi Uchikawa belted a solo homer in the seventh to lift Fukuoka SoftBank over Orix.

Munenori Kawasaki had his first RBI hit this season in a three-run eighth.