Baseball / MLB

BASEBALL

Asai’s grand slam sees Carp top Giants

John Bale struck out 12 and pitched three-run ball over seven strong innings, and Itsuki Asai hit a grand slam in the final frame, powering the Hiroshima Carp to an 8-5 victory over the first-place Yomiuri Giants on Friday.

Tomonori Maeda got things rolling with a two-run double in the opening inning and Kenta Kurihara connected for a solo homer in the sixth, giving the visitors a 4-1 lead at Tokyo Dome.

Tomohiro Nioka cut the deficit with a two-out, two-run double in the seventh but the Giant offense was stymied for only two hits and two runs in the last two innings.

Bale (3-2) allowed five hits, walked none and hit a batter to outperform veteran lefty Kimiyasu Kudo (5-2), who was chased after giving up three runs in five innings.

Asai’s pinch-hit shot off reliever Matt Randel to the seats in right field was his first homer of the season and helped push the Carp into third place in the CL standings.

BayStars at Tigers — ppd.

Hawks top BlueWave

Catcher Kenji Jojima hit a pair of three-run homers and Tsuyoshi Wada tossed a four-hitter Friday to lead the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks to a 11-2 win over the Orix BlueWave.

Jojima connected for his first homer of the night in the first inning at Fukuoka Dome and then added another in the fifth to knock Orix starter Trey Moore out of the game.

Fighters 3, Buffaloes 1

At Osaka Dome, Tsuyoshi Shinjo went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs to lead Nippon Ham over Kintetsu.

Lions 2, Marines 1 (11)

At Seibu Dome, Tatsuya Ozeki drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Pacific League-leading Seibu to a win over Lotte.

Matsuzaka to return

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. (Kyodo) Seibu Lions right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was removed from the active roster due to a lower back strain, is scheduled to pitch against the Orix BlueWave on Monday, team manager Tsutomu Ito said Friday.

Meanwhile, infielder Alex Cabrera, who is back after recovering from breaking his right forearm in March, took batting practice Friday and is aiming to start in a game against Orix on June 21 at Seibu Dome.

Relief for Saito

NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Yokohama BayStars manager Daisuke Yamashita said Friday he plans to use right-hander Takashi Saito as a relief pitcher instead of in the starting role.