Hiroshima batters erupted for four runs in the sixth inning to power the Carp to a 7-3 win over the Yomiuri Giants on Wednesday. The Carp saw their magic number to win the Central League pennant lit at 20 with the victory.
Shinnosuke Abe opened the scoring for the Giants in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer, his 10th this season. Abe has now reached double-digit home runs for 16 consecutive years, beginning with his rookie season.
With Yomiuri leading 2-1 in the sixth, Hiroshima starter Yuya Fukui doubled to begin the inning before Kosuke Tanaka and Yoshihiro Maru connected on run-scoring doubles to give the Carp the lead. Ryuhei Matsuyama made the score 4-2 in Hiroshima’s favor with an RBI single, and Seiya Suzuki drove in the fourth run of the inning with an RBI double.
The Carp tacked on two more runs on solo homers by Maru and Ryosuke Kikuchi in the eighth.
Fukui (4-4) scattered five hits over six innings, allowing just two runs.
Hiroshima, seeking to claim the CL pennant for the first time in 25 years, is the first team to collect its 70th win this year. The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters reached the same mark in the Pacific League later in the evening.
Swallows 5, Dragons 2
At Jingu Stadium, Atsushi Ugumori hit a three-run home run and Naomichi Nishiura hit a solo homer in the first inning to pace Tokyo Yakult against Chunichi.
Yasuhiro Ogawa (7-5) recorded his second straight complete-game win.
Tigers 5, BayStars 1
At Yokohama Stadium, rookie Shun Takayama doubled in a run and Seishiro Sakamoto, another first-year player, hit his first career home run to help Hanshin win its third straight game, while Yokohama fell to its third loss in a row.
Tigers starter Shintaro Fujinami (6-9) fanned 10 over seven innings.
Hawks 5, Eagles 0
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Tomoaki Egawa homered in the seventh to break a scoreless tie and Nobuhiro Matsuda hit a three-run home run in the eighth as SoftBank blanked Tohoku Rakuten to hold on to its lead in the PL. Kenichi Nakata (4-3) allowed two hits over seven innings to pick up his first win in nearly two months.
Lions 6, Buffaloes 2
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Seibu’s Hideto Asamura went 3-for-4 with three RBIs while rookie Shinsaburo Tawata (5-5) struck out seven over as many innings.
Orix starter Daiki Tomei (1-8) remained without a win since the end of March.
Fighters 5, Marines 3
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Lotte reliever Masaki Minami (3-4) loaded the bases after getting two outs in the eighth and allowed Kenshi Sugiya’s tie-breaking two-run single as Hokkaido Nippon Ham kept up the pace with SoftBank at the top of PL standings.
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