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Swallows punish Carp with ninth-inning salvo

Kyodo

Masayoshi Miwa made Hiroshima pay for intentionally putting the go-ahead run on base with a come-from-behind, two-run, ninth-inning triple that lifted the Tokyo Yakult Swallows to a 9-8 win over the Carp on Sunday afternoon.

The Swallows overcame a day in which the Carp’s biggest hitters were firing on all cylinders. The Carp, starved for offense for most of the season, got the first two home runs of the season from last year’s Central League home run champ, Brad Eldred. He, Nate Schierholtz and Takahiro Arai combined for six hits and seven RBIs but it wasn’t enough.

Leading 8-6 in the eighth, Hiroshima manager sent Katsuhiro Nagakawa in to keep the Swallows at bay, but the former closer allowed a run on two hits.

Right-hander Shota Nakazaki (0-3) tried his hand in the ninth, but Takahiro Imanami opened the inning with a single, his third hit of the game. A sacrifice put the tying run on second, and rookie Carp manager Koichi Ogata decided to take advantage of the open base by putting the Swallows’ best hitter, leadoff man Tetsuto Yamada, on first with two outs.

Miwa, a career .259 singles hitter, however, hit a deep fly that a faster left fielder than Eldred might have gotten. The ball easily got past him to the track and Miwa was on third with his first career triple and a Swallows’ lead.

Orlando Roman (2-0) retired all three Carp hitters he faced in the eighth to earn the win in relief, while Tony Barnette got three outs in the ninth for his 11th save.

Giants 5, Dragons 2

At Nagoya Dome, Hayato Sakamoto hit a two-run, first-inning home run and rookie Hayato Takagi (6-2) allowed two runs in 6⅔ innings to earn the win and snap a personal two-game losing streak as Yomiuri completed a three-game sweep of Chunichi.

BayStars 8, Tigers 6

At Yokohama Stadium, the table-topping BayStars turned the game around against Hanshin with four-run third inning, when the go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch by Kentaro Kuwahara. Yuki Kuniyoshi earned the save after rookie phenomenon Yasuaki Yamasaki was ejected in the ninth for hitting the leadoff batter in the head — which sparked a bench-clearing ruckus.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Hawks 12, Fighters 0

At Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham rookie Kohei Arihara (1-1) allowed six runs in five innings, with Nobuhiro Matsuda’s three-run homer opening the scoring in the first inning. Fukuoka Softbank racked up a season-high 15 hits behind Hayato Terahara (1-0), who allowed two hits over seven innings.

Buffaloes 7, Marines 0

At Kyocera Dome, Yuki Nishi (2-3) hurled a five-hit shutout to halt Orix’s four-game losing run, aided by a six-run fourth inning in which Chiba Lotte’s Yuta Omine (2-2) walked three straight batters.

Eagles 5, Lions 3

At Seibu Prince Dome, Kazuo Matsui doubled to break a 1-1 tie in the third inning, and Toshihiro Iwao walked him with the bases loaded in a two-run fourth as Tohoku Rakuten coasted past Seibu.