HIROSHIMA – Takahiro Arai drove in four runs in a 10-run first inning as the Hiroshima Carp knocked the Yomiuri Giants out of the Central League lead with a 13-1 rout on Tuesday.
With the game still scoreless in the bottom of the first, Arai batted with one out and two on. After nearly being retired on the first pitch, when a foul pop dropped uncaught, Arai smoked a 1-2 slider from lefty Toshiya Sugiuchi (3-1) into the left-field corner for a two-run lead.
Arai, who had five RBIs in a 3-for-4 outing, added a two-run single in the inning to make the score 10-0. He doubled in Hiroshima’s final run in the third.
“It was like a dream,” Arai said.
Carp ace Kenta Maeda (3-2) allowed four hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings, while striking out eight.
Sugiuchi was yanked after facing just eight batters. He was charged with six runs, all earned, on five hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. The veteran struck out one batter.
BayStars 5, Swallows 4
At Yokohama Stadium, player-coach Daisuke Miura (1-0) allowed three runs in six innings in his season debut to post a win in 23 consecutive seasons as Yokohama rallied with the help of three RBIs from catcher Shuto Takajo to beat Tokyo Yakult and move into first place.
Tigers 4, Dragons 2
At Koshien Stadium, Minoru Iwata (2-1) allowed two runs in seven innings and broke a 1-1, sixth-inning tie with a three-run triple as Hanshin beat Chunichi.
Lions 6, Buffaloes 1
At Seibu Prince Dome, Ken Togame (3-1) allowed a run over the distance and Seibu got home runs from Ernest Mejia, his fourth, and Tomoya Mori, his sixth, in a rout of last-place Orix.
Fighters 4, Eagles 2
At Sapporo Dome, Tohoku Rakuten blew a one-run lead in the fifth when first baseman Gaby Sanchez’s throwing error allowed the tying run to score and the go-ahead run scored on a groundout as Hokkaido Nippon Ham pulled away for the win.
Hawks 4, Marines 3 (11)
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Yuki Yanagita hit an 11th-inning, sayonara solo home run to lift Fukuoka Softbank over Chiba Lotte, which had tied the game in the sixth on Luis Cruz’s two-run homer.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5