HIROSHIMA – Rookie right-hander Yuta Nakamura worked six innings to pace the Central League-leading Hiroshima Carp to a 7-1 interleague win over the Chiba Lotte Marines on Sunday.
Before 31,321 at Mazda Stadium, the 21-year-old Nakamura located his fastball and a nasty slider to improve to 3-0 in four starts. He gave up one run on four hits, two walks and a hit batsman, while striking out five.
The Carp took a first-inning lead against Chihaya Sasaki (2-5) on a Kosuke Tanaka leadoff single and an RBI double by Yoshihiro Maru. Nakamura pitched out of second- and third-inning jams, and was rewarded for his efforts in the fourth.
With two outs and none on, Brad Eldred blasted a hanging Sasaki forkball into the upper deck in left field. Maru homered with one on in the fifth to make it 4-0.
The Marines scraped out a run in the sixth, when Katsuya Kakunaka doubled and scored on a comebacker to the mound that was ruled an infield single, but the Carp had the last word.
Xavier Batista batted for Nakamura in the sixth and, in his second at-bat with Hiroshima’s first team, the 25-year-old belted his second pinch-hit, two-run homer.
Sasaki, Lotte’s first-round draft pick last autumn, surrendered four runs on six hits and three walks without striking out a batter.
BayStars 5, Hawks 3
At Yokohama Stadium, Jose Lopez hit a two-run, first-inning homer off Japan’s WBC star Kodai Senga (6-2), and Yasutaka Tobashira plated three runs with a pair of RBI singles to erase a 3-2 deficit as Yokohama beat Fukuoka SoftBank.
Buffaloes 3, Giants 1
At Tokyo Dome, Taisuke Yamaoka (2-4) allowed a run in eight innings and fellow rookie Yuta Kuroki worked the ninth for his first save as Orix beat Yomiuri to record its first seven-game winning streak in three seasons. The Giants lost their 10th in a row.
Dragons 2, Eagles 0
At Nagoya Dome, Jordan Norberto (4-1) scattered three hits, four walks and a hit batsman over six innings to outduel Takayuki Kishi (4-2) as Chunichi knocked off PL-leading Tohoku Rakuten. Yohei Oshima and Dayan Viciedo put the Dragons ahead with fifth-inning RBI singles.
Lions 8, Swallows 8 (12)
At Jingu Stadium, longtime Detroit Tigers farmhand Dean Green made his first-team debut with Tokyo Yakult a good one, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs to help the Swallows overcome a late six-run deficit and salvage a tie with Seibu.
Tigers 4, Fighters 3 (11)
At Koshien Stadium, a day after hitting his first career home run, 13th-year catcher Taichi Okazaki singled home the winning run in the 11th in a 13-pitch at-bat to lift Hanshin over Hokkaido Nippon Ham.