HIROSHIMA – Aren Kuri allowed a run in six innings to earn his first win as a starter in two months as the Hiroshima Carp beat the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 7-1 on Friday night.
Kuri (6-5), making his first start since June 2, served up some fat pitches early, but settled down after escaping a two-on, no-out jam in the first. By the time he left, he had scattered six hits and two walks, while striking out four.
“I went out to challenge hitters, and make my pitches and was eventually able to do that,” Kuri said. “But more than my pitching, it was the fielders who made the plays behind me and put runs on the board. I am grateful to them.”
Seiya Suzuki opened the bottom of the second by blasting a home run high over the upper deck in left off David Buchanan (5-8).
The Carp made it 4-0 in the third when it looked like Buchanan was out of the inning at Mazda Stadium. With two outs and the bases loaded on a single, an error and a walk, the right-hander got a high fly to deep left off the bat of Ryuhei Matsuyama. Left fielder Wladimir Balentien got under the ball but couldn’t catch it and Matsuyama was credited with a three-run double.
“The ball hit the bat for me,” Matsuyama said. “When I hit it, I thought he was sure to catch it, but the wind got ahold of it.”
Balentien hit a solo homer in the fourth, his fifth in four games, but Yakult could manage nothing else. Ryosuke Kikuchi belted a solo homer off Buchanan in the fifth, and Brad Eldred took reliever Masato Nakazawa out for a two-run shot in the eighth.
Buchanan was charged with five runs — two earned — on seven hits and two walks over six innings as the Swallows saw their brief three-game win streak come to an end.
Tigers 5, Dragons 0
At Nagoya Dome, Takumi Akiyama (9-4) allowed six hits and a walk, while striking out eight over seven innings, and Yamato Maeda went 3-for-4 with two runs and a solo homer as Hanshin handed Chunichi its sixth straight loss.
Buffaloes 11, Eagles 5
At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Stefen Romero homered twice and drove in four runs, and Hiroyuki Nakajima’s seventh-inning grand slam sealed Orix’s win over league-leading Tohoku Rakuten.
Lions 5, Marines 4
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Hotaka Yamakawa walked to open the ninth and Shuta Tonosaki singled to set the table as Seibu scored twice en route to a come-from-behind victory over Chiba Lotte.
Yuji Kaneko’s sac fly off Tomohisa Otani (2-2) tied it and rookie Sosuke Genda’s pushed across the go-ahead run.