HIROSHIMA – Right-hander Yuta Nakamura earned a win in his first career game for the Central League-leading Hiroshima Carp, holding the Chunichi Dragons to three runs over five innings in his team’s 7-4 come-from-behind win on Wednesday.
Nakamura, Hiroshima’s fifth-round draft pick in 2013, allowed five hits and two walks while striking out four in a 103-pitch effort.
Takahiro Arai hit a game-tying two-run home run in the fourth inning and Yoshihiro Maru drove in a run for a 4-3 lead in the fifth off Dragons starter Kazuki Yoshimi (0-4).
“I had reliable, experienced players defending behind me, so I fully trusted them and just concentrated on throwing at (catcher Tsubasa) Aizawa’s mitt. I wasn’t too nervous,” Nakamura said. “I really want to thank the position players.”
Nakamura did not have the best of starts as Dragons rookie Yota Kyoda hit the first pitch of the game for a double, advanced to third with a sacrifice bunt and came home on a groundout. Masato Matsui’s RBI single in the second then made it 2-0 for the visitors.
After Arai tied the score with his two-run homer in the fourth, Kyoda hit the first home run of his career in the top of the fifth to restore the Dragons’ lead at 3-2.
But third baseman Alex Guerrero committed an error that let a runner reach second in the bottom of the fifth and then made a catching mistake that allowed the Carp to tie it at 3-3. Maru gave the home team the lead for good later in the inning.
Aizawa had a two-run shot off Yoshimi in the sixth and Brad Eldred plated his team’s last run in the seventh with an RBI single off reliever Daisuke Sobue. Guerrero hit a solo shot in the ninth to make amends for his earlier mistakes but it was not enough for a comeback.
Tigers 8, Swallows 4
At Jingu Stadium, Hanshin’s Takashi Toritani drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth off Tokyo Yakult starter Hirofumi Yamanaka (0-3).
Yuta Iwasada (2-1) picked up the win after allowing a run on five hits over six innings.
Giants 4, BayStars 1
At Tokyo Dome, Seiji Kobayashi drove in two runs in the second inning and Giants starter Kan Otake (3-1) held the BayStars to one run while fanning nine over six-plus innings.
Hawks 6, Lions 2
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Seiji Uebayashi hit a fourth-inning grand slam off Seibu’s Kona Takahashi (0-4) and an RBI single in the sixth as SoftBank came from behind to win its third straight game. Nao Higashihama (3-1) held the Lions to two runs over 7⅔ innings.
Fighters 2, Marines 1
At Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido Nippon Ham’s Taishi Ota hit a walk-off RBI single in the ninth off Chiba Lotte closer Naoya Masuda (0-2), who loaded the bases without getting a single out.
Eagles 4, Buffaloes 2
At Sendai’s Kobo Park Miyagi, Takahiro Norimoto (3-1) fanned 12 and held Orix to two runs over eight-plus innings for PL-leading Tohoku Rakuten.