HIROSHIMA – Former Cuba international Leslie Anderson was penciled into the cleanup spot on Saturday and promptly drove in four runs for the Yomiuri Giants in an 11-5 clubbing of the Central League-leading Hiroshima Carp.
The Giants took the lead off Carp rookie Aren Kuri (2-1) in the first inning after Yasuyuki Kataoka singled with one out and Hisayoshi Chono followed with a double. Anderson put the ball in play, allowing Kataoka to score on the ground out.
Giants starting pitcher Kan Otake, who left Hiroshima as a free agent in the offseason, doubled in a run in the second, and solo homers by Jose Lopez and Shuichi Murata, who was bumped out of the cleanup spot for the day, made it 4-1 in the fourth. Anderson plated his second run of the game with an infield single in the fifth, and Hayato Sakamoto drove in two with a sixth-inning double.
Otake (3-1) pitched well against his former club until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Carp hit five straight no-out singles to drive their former teammate from the game.
“The Carp are a good hitting team and they can really make contact, and that’s what they did,” said Giants manager Tatsunori Hara.
The right-hander surrendered four runs on eight hits, while striking out four and walking none to earn the win.
The three-run rally put the game in doubt, but a double by Chono off reliever Ryuji Yokoyama to open the seventh brought Anderson to the plate with a chance to do more damage and he belted his fifth homer of the season to kill off the Carp’s chances.
“I don’t take this any differently because I’m in the cleanup spot, when there are runners on base, I am just trying to drive them in,” Anderson said through an interpreter.
Murata, Chono and No. 8 hitter Itaru Hashimoto each had three hits in an 18-hit assault that moved the Giants to within a game of the front-running Carp.
Tigers 7, BayStars 1
At Yokohama Stadium, lefty Minoru Iwata (2-0) threw a four-hitter in his first complete game victory in four years as Hanshin beat up on Yokohama for the second straight day. Ryota Arai gave the visitors the early lead with a second-inning homer and added a second solo shot in the sixth.
Swallows 8, Dragons 4
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, right-hander Ryohei Kiya (2-1) allowed three runs in seven innings and didn’t allow a Chunichi runner to reach until the fifth inning as Tokyo Yakult snapped a nine-game losing streak.
Shingo Kawabata, Yasushi Iihara and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama each had an RBI single in a five-run first inning.
Buffaloes 10, Eagles 4
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, longtime PL doormat Orix reached double digits in runs for the second straight game and moved eight games over .500 for the first time in 13 seasons.
Wily Mo Pena drove in four runs as the PL leaders smashed defending champion Tohoku Rakuten. Pena hit a three-run homer and an RBI double.
Hawks 3, Lions 2
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Kenichi Nakata (5-0) scattered eight hits and two walks over six innings to remain perfect in five starts since joining Fukuoka Softbank as a free agent in the offseason.
Dennis Sarfate, who joined the Hawks over the winter from Seibu, struck out three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to earn the save against his former teammates.
Marines 3, Fighters 1
At Sapporo Dome, Chiba Lotte broke a 1-1 tie with two unearned runs in the eighth inning after a leadoff double by Tadahito Iguchi and Saburo Omura single. Former closer Naoya Masuda (1-0) entered with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth and worked 1-1/3 innings to earn the win over Hokkaido Nippon Ham, which committed four errors.