HIROSHIMA – Kris Johnson took over the Central League lead in wins, allowing two runs in six innings before the Hiroshima Carp battered the Yokohama BayStars bullpen in an 8-2 win on Tuesday night.
The Carp, who are chasing their first CL pennant since 1991, remain 11 games ahead of the second-place Yomiuri Giants and clinched a berth in the postseason.
Before 31,689 at Mazda Stadium and wearing their red-chili makkageki uniforms, the Carp opened the scoring in the second on a two-run Ryuhei Matsuyama homer off Shoichi Ino (6-10). Yoshihiro Maru tripled in another run in the fifth on a two-out drive that was nearly caught in dead center.
“I was just trying to advance the runner as usual, and I got jammed a bit,” said Matsuyama of his eighth home run. “But I swung so hard that it carried out for me.”
Johnson (13-6) scattered nine hits and a walk, while striking out three. A leadoff walk in the fourth led to one run, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo hit his 37th homer of the year to lead off the sixth to make it a 3-2 game. The BayStars then threatened to tie it with a double and a one-out single, but couldn’t score against Johnson, who had been tied with teammate Yusuke Nomura for the league lead in wins.
Zach Petrick, who kept Hiroshima off the board in the sixth, surrendered three straight singles to open what became a five-run seventh. Tomohiro Abe provided the big blow in the inning with a two-out, two-run homer.
Giants 5, Swallows 2
At Fukui Stadium, Shuichi Murata’s second RBI single broke a 2-2, third-inning tie and Tomoyuki Sugano (8-6) allowed two runs in seven innings as Yomiuri snapped a five-game losing skid and Tokyo Yakult lost to end a five-game winning streak.
Dragons 9, Tigers 3
At Nagoya Dome, Chunichi catcher Shota Sugiyama hit a first-inning grand slam off Hanshin’s Shintaro Fujinami (6-10), and Raul Valdes (6-5) allowed three runs — two earned — in five innings to earn the victory.
Hawks 6, Lions 3
At Tokorozawa’s Seibu Prince Dome, Fukuoka SoftBank’s Shota Takeda (12-6) worked seven innings and Yuya Hasegawa capped a tie-breaking three-run seventh inning with a two-run homer off Seibu ace Takayuki Kishi (7-7).
Buffaloes 6, Marines 4
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Masataka Yoshida’s solo homer off Jason Standridge (6-8) broke a 3-3 tie and sparked a three-run sixth as last-place Orix beat Chiba Lotte.
Eagles 9, Fighters 2
At Tokyo Dome, Tohoku Rakuten knocked Hokkaido Nippon Ham starter Anthony Bass (6-8) around for eight runs in four-plus innings.
Eagles starter Yasunori Kikuchi (1-0) allowed eight hits, including two homers, and four walks but just two runs in six innings.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5