Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Carp whip BayStars, spoil starter Shota Imanaga's season debut

Kyodo

Right-hander Yuta Nakamura worked into the ninth inning for the Hiroshima Carp in Tuesday’s 7-2 victory over the Yokohama BayStars.

The BayStars, who upset the CL champion Carp last autumn in the playoffs, had two key players making their season debuts, lefty Shota Imanaga and right fielder Takayuki Kajitani.

Imanaga (0-1) was stung for seven runs — three earned — in five innings.

Nakamura (2-0), who was hurt by a line drive in a preseason exhibition, was making just his second start. The 22-year-old walked four batters and hit two, and had to pitch out of a second-inning bases-loaded jam. But he did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, which he started with a 7-0 lead.

The Carp opened the scoring on one-out doubles by Ryosuke Kikuchi and Yoshihiro Maru, who then scored on a hard-hit Xavier Batista single. Tsubasa Aizawa’s fourth-inning solo home run made it 3-0 and two BayStars errors contributed to a four-run Carp fifth.

After a single, an error and a groundout, Batista was walked intentionally and Seiya Suzuki delivered a sacrifice fly. An infield single loaded the bases, and three runs scored when Tomohiro Abe’s fly was dropped by rookie center fielder Kazuki Kamisato.

“He (Imanaga) had a rough outing, especially at the start,” Yokohama manager Alex Ramirez said. “But as far as his condition goes, he maxed out at 149 (kph, 93 mph) and his changeup was good.”

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