Ryuhei Matsuyama opened the scoring and hit a decisive solo home run as the Hiroshima Carp beat the Central League-leading Yomiuri Giants 2-1 on Saturday.
Matsuyama opened the scoring with an RBI double in the third off rookie Hayato Takagi (7-7), before he connected on a 1-1 pitch off the right-hander to drive the ball over the left-field wall in the eighth to again put the Carp ahead at Tokyo Dome.
Kenta Maeda (9-7) allowed a game-tying solo shot to Seiji Kobayashi in the fifth, but held the Giants to four hits. The Carp ace struck out eight in seven innings without a walk and moved in to a tie for most wins in the CL.
“Maeda was hanging in there and we hadn’t been able to back him up recently so I’m glad we have (today),” said Matsuyama. “I didn’t think it (the home run) was going to go in but it ended up with the best outcome.”
Hiroshima opened the scoring in the third after Maeda singled and Ryosuke Kikuchi drew a walk off Takagi to set up Matsuyama to bring the pitcher home with two outs.
Takagi scattered seven hits while walking three over eight innings, and Yomiuri was given a chance to walk off victorious. The Giants had runners on first and second with one out in the ninth against closer Shota Nakazaki, but Hisayoshi Chono struck out looking after the right-hander threw three straight sliders off the plate before recovering with fastballs.
Shinnosuke Abe also got ahead in the count 3-0, but grounded out to second on the fourth pitch to hand the Carp their second win in the series.
Dragons 4, Swallows 1
At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi rookie Shunta Wakamatsu (5-2) limited Tokyo Yakult to four hits over seven innings, striking out three and walking four.
Hector Luna hit an RBI double off Nagisa Arakaki (3-10) in the first inning and the Dragons added two more on Masahiko Morino’s single and a wild pitch to take the lead for good.
Tigers 5, BayStars 2
At Yokohama Stadium, Shintaro Fujinami (9-5) allowed two runs on six hits and struck out 10 in seven innings for Hanshin.
Taiga Egoshi doubled and scored the tie-breaking run on an RBI ground out in a four-run second as the Tigers beat Yokohama to climb to the top of the CL.
Buffaloes 4, Lions 3
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, pinch hitter Shuhei Kojima hit a walk-off, bases-loaded double off Seibu’s Kazuhisa Makita (5-8) to drive in two runs in the ninth.
Orix starter Yuki Nishi allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out 10 over seven innings in a no-decision.
Marines 7, Hawks 2
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Chiba Lotte handed PL-leading Fukuoka Softbank its first consecutive defeats since June 13.
Last year’s top draft pick Shogo Nakamura hit a first-pitch solo shot off Shota Takeda (9-5), and the Marines added five more off the right-hander in the third.
Lotte’s Yuki Karakawa (5-3) allowed two runs on nine hits over eight innings to earn the win.
Fighters 4, Eagles 3 (10)
At Sapporo Dome, pinch-hitting ace pitcher Shohei Otani struck a bases-loaded sayonara single off Tohoku Rakuten’s Yoshitaka Muto (3-2) in the 10th inning for Hokkaido Nippon Ham.
The Fighters’ Yuki Saito pitched five innings, his longest stint in his seven outings this season, allowing two runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
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