HIROSHIMA – Kazuki Yabuta struggled through seven innings but held Yomiuri to two runs to pick up his 15th win this season as the Hiroshima Carp edged the Giants 3-2 on Saturday.
With the game tied 1-1, Ryuhei Matsuyama drove home the go-ahead run and Xavier Batista hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the fourth to make it 3-1 before a crowd of 31,808 at Mazda Stadium.
Shinnosuke Shigenobu’s RBI groundout in the sixth was not enough for the Giants, who blew their scoring opportunities with four double plays and stranded 10 runners.
Yabuta (15-3) scattered eight hits, including a game-tying solo homer by Yomiuri catcher Seiji Kobayashi in the top of the fourth, and issued three walks while striking out four.
Jay Jackson and Shota Nakazaki retired the side in the eighth and ninth, respectively, as the Central League champion claimed victory with just three hits.
“I’m not satisfied with my pitching at all, but I’m blessed that I was credited with the win,” said Yabuta, who trails CL wins leader Tomoyuki Sugano of the Giants by one.
“I’m very happy to get my 15th win,” the third-year right-hander added. “If I have a chance to pitch again, I will do my job as best I can with the Climax Series playoffs in mind and then see how that plays out” in the race for most wins in the league.
Giants rookie Seishu Hatake (6-3) gave up three runs on as many hits, including a Yoshihiro Maru solo shot in the first, and two walks.
BayStars 13, Dragons 5
At Nagoya Dome, Jose Lopez went 4-for-5 with five RBIs and lefty Kenta Ishida (5-6) fanned seven while pitching six no-hit innings as Yokohama pounded Chunichi.
Tigers 8, Swallows 1
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Taiki Ono (2-7) walked six but pitched six scoreless innings, while Jason Rogers and Ryutaro Umeno each drove in two runs as Hanshin walloped Tokyo Yakult.
Lions 5, Buffaloes 0
At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, Ryoma Nogami (10-10) allowed four singles and a walk over the distance, while Hotaka Yamakawa went 3-for-4 with two RBIs to lead Seibu past Orix.
Fighters 4, Marines 3
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Shohei Otani broke a 3-3 tie with his eighth-home run, a one-out, eighth-inning solo shot that lifted Hokkaido Nippon Ham to a come-from-behind win over Chiba Lotte.
Eagles 3, Hawks 1
At Fukuoka’s Yafuoku Dome, Zelous Wheeler opened the scoring with his 29th home run, a second-inning solo shot, and six Tohoku Rakuten pitchers worked out of one jam after another to hold Fukuoka SoftBank to a run.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5