Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Suzuki lifts Carp with second straight sayonara home run

Kyodo

Seiya Suzuki was the hero again as he hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning for his second walk-off shot in two games, handing the Hiroshima Carp their fifth straight win on Saturday with a 4-3 victory over the Orix Buffaloes in interleague action.

The 21-year-old, who hit a 12th-inning two-run homer a day earlier at Mazda Stadium, went up to the plate with his team trailing 3-1. Orix closer Yoshihisa Hirano (1-4) gave up two singles and with one out and runners on the corners, Suzuki slugged a 2-1 forkball over the left-field wall.

“It’s the best feeling,” said Suzuki, who had two flyouts and struck out once in his previous at-bats.

Orix’s Nobuyoshi Yamada, in his first outing of the season, allowed no hits in the first four innings before giving up a leadoff single to Takahiro Arai in the fifth. Ko Shimozuru doubled and Tsubasa Aizawa hit a sacrifice fly to right for the first run, but the southpaw retired the next two before he got the hook.

Yamada struck out six in five innings as he allowed a run on two hits and two walks.

Orix finally got to Hiroshima’s Akitake Okada in the seventh as a Takahiro Okada single, a Kyo Okunami double and a walk loaded the bases with one out before pinch hitter Brent Morel hit a two-run double.

Okada threw eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks, striking out three in 99 pitches.

Orix added another run in the ninth when Kengo Takeda doubled in a run off Hiroshima reliever Takeru Imamura (2-3), but the Carp, who tied the game in the bottom of the ninth a night before, came away with another dramatic win.

Marines 6, Giants 2

At Tokyo Dome, Katsuya Kakunaka homered for the second game in a row with a three-run shot in the fifth to power Chiba Lotte past Yomiuri for its seventh straight win.

Jason Standridge (4-5) pitched seven strong innings, while Yomiuri’s Yuki Koyama (0-1) took the loss after allowing five runs in his first start of the year.

Hawks 1, Tigers 0

At Nishinomiya’s Koshien Stadium, Kodai Senga (6-0) tossed eight shutout innings on two hits and also had the first hit of his pro career before Kenta Imamiya bunted in the lone run in the third as Fukuoka SoftBank blanked Hanshin.

Dennis Sarfate worked a perfect ninth for his 24th save.

Swallows 5, Lions 4

At Jingu Stadium, Keiji Obiki’s solo shot broke a tie in the seventh as Tokyo Yakult completed a come-from-from behind win.

Seibu reliever Ryoma Nogami (2-6) was charged with three runs on four hits as the team lost five in a row for the first time this season.

Eagles 6, BayStars 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Tohoku Rakuten’s Zelous Wheeler had three RBIs and Yoshinao Kamata (3-3) picked up the win after holding the BayStars to one run over five-plus innings.

Eagles rookie Louis Okoye hit his first home run with a solo shot in the third.

Dragons 3, Fighters 2

At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi’s Ryosuke Hirata hit a solo shot in the first and had an RBI single to break a tie in the sixth before Ricardo Nanita doubled in the third run off Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Mitsuo Yoshikawa (4-5).

Yudai Ono (4-2) held the Fighters to a run on four hits in seven innings.