Shirahama’s first career hit lifts Carp in ninth


Yuta Shirahama made his first career hit a memorable one Thursday, hitting a walk-off single to give the Hiroshima Carp a 2-1 win over the Central League champion Chunichi Dragons.

Shirahama lined Chen Wei-yin’s (8-10) 0-1 pitch to left-center beyond a drawn-in outfield to score pinch runner Tomohiro Abe from second with two outs in the ninth inning at Mazda Stadium.

The 25-year-old Shirahama had entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement for catcher Yoshikazu Kura.

Tomohiro Umetsu (3-1) won in relief. Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda threw seven innings of one-run ball, striking out a career-high 15.

Ryosuke Hirata gave Chunichi a 1-0 lead when he led off the seventh with his 11th home run of the season, off Maeda.

Brian Barden ripped a game-tying solo homer in the eighth.

BayStars 5, Tigers 3

At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Keijiro Matsumoto hit a go-ahead two-run triple in a five-run fourth inning as Yokohama handed Hanshin its third straight loss.

Tatsuya Shimozono also drove in two runs for Yokohama. Daisuke Miura (5-6) allowed three runs in eight-plus innings for the win.

Lee to leave Buffaloes


The Orix Buffaloes said Thursday that South Korean first baseman Lee Seung Yeop will not return to the club next season.

The Buffaloes, who missed out on the playoffs on the last day of their regular season accepted the 35-year-old Lee’s offer to leave.

Lee batted only .201 with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs in 122 games this year.

Lee started his career in Japan in 2004 with the Lotte Marines after setting an Asian baseball record with 56 home runs in 2003 in South Korea.

He helped Lotte win the Japan Series in his second year and moved to the Yomiuri Giants in 2006 for a five-year stint.

Lee hit a total of 101 homers between 2005 and 2007 but has not had a good season since then.

Obama teams with MLB


Michelle Obama and Jill Biden put their baseball allegiances aside Wednesday and teamed up with Major League Baseball to support the military before Game 1 of the World Series.

Obama, whose husband is a proud White Sox fan, and Dr. Biden, a self-described “Philly girl,” were joined on the mound at blustery Busch Stadium by Lance Corporal James Sperry and his daughter, Hannah.