HIROSHIMA - Kris Johnson was rescued by Ryuhei Matsuyama’s grand slam and other slugging teammates on Tuesday as the Central League-leading Hiroshima Carp pounded the second-place Yomiuri Giants 14-5.
Hiroshima batters overcame an early four-run deficit at Mazda Stadium to back Johnson, who allowed four earned runs in three innings, while Yomiuri pitchers gave up a combined 13 hits and six walks.
Johnson got into a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the first after allowing two singles and a walk. Yoshiyuki Kamei and Hisayoshi Chono drove in three opening runs and a wild pitch allowed a fourth before the inning ended as Johnson made a full trip through the lineup.
But the Carp equalized in the bottom of the inning when Yomiuri left-hander Takuya Kuwahara (1-2) loaded the bases on three walks, and Matsuyama went deep to the right-field bleachers for a game-tying grand slam.
Kazuma Okamoto briefly recovered the Giants’ position with a leadoff homer against Johnson in the third, but the lefty retired the next three batters and the Carp hit back hard during their half of the inning.
Yoshihiro Maru opened with a leadoff shot of his own while Matsuyama drove in a run with an RBI double to send Kuwahara to the dugout. Pinch hitter Tsubasa Aizawa hit a two-run single against reliever Masahiko Morifuku, and Xavier Batista followed up with a two-run homer to make it 10-5.
Geronimo Franzua (1-2) took over for Johnson in the fourth and struck out three, and Yomiuri reliever Samuel Adames gave up a run on two hits and two walks to his first four batters.
Aizawa’s two-run homer in the sixth and Maru’s second homer of the game in the seventh continued the slugfest.
The Carp improved to 38 wins, 28 losses and one tie, and remain ahead of the Giants at 32-34-1.
Swallows 9, Dragons 1
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Norichika Aoki and Naomichi Nishiura each belted three-run homers against lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara (2-6), while Tokyo Yakult lefty David Buchanan (6-4) pitched a complete game and didn’t give up the lone Chunichi run until the ninth inning.
Tigers 4, BayStars 0
At Yokohama Stadium, lefty Randy Messenger (9-4) fanned six in eight scoreless innings, and Naomasa Yokawa’s three-run homer put the Tigers on the board in the seventh as Hanshin blanked Yokohama.
Fighters 5, Hawks 0
At Okinawa Cellular Stadium, Hokkaido Nippon Ham lefty Naoyuki Uwasawa (7-2) threw scoreless two-hit ball and fanned eight over the distance, while Oswaldo Arcia’s three-run homer against Fukuoka SoftBank righty Kodai Senga (5-3) in the first was immediately followed by a solo blast from Brandon Laird.
Buffaloes 4, Lions 2
At Tokorozawa’s MetLife Dome, left-hander Andrew Albers improved to 9-1 and Stefen Romero homered in his second straight game as Orix handed a loss to PL-leading Seibu.
Marines 4, Eagles 1
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Takashi Ogino’s two-run triple in the fifth following a sacrifice fly in fourth was enough to push Chiba Lotte past Tohoku Rakuten.
Ayumu Ishikawa (9-3) fanned six and held the visitors to a run in 8-1/3 innings.