The Central League-leading Hiroshima Carp fought their way out of a four-run hole for a 6-5 extra-inning win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows on Friday night.
Outfielder Yoshihiro Maru drove in the winning run with a solo homer off Yugo Umeno in the top of the 10th at Jingu Stadium to extend the reigning CL champions’ lead over second-place Yakult to 12 games.
A four-run outburst from the Swallows in the bottom of the seventh, including a three-run homer from Norichika Aoki, saw the home team end the inning with a 5-1 lead.
With Yuhei Nakamura and Tomotaka Sakaguchi on base, former Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Aoki sent Hiroshima starter Yusuke Nomura’s pitch over the center-field wall for his seventh home run of the season. Naomichi Nishiura added an RBI single to round out the inning.
The Carp cut the lead to 5-3 in the top of the eighth when outfielder Xavier Batista went deep to left off Yakult starter David Buchanan for a two-run homer. Ryuhei Matsuyama then reduced the lead to a single run with an RBI single.
With Yakult reliever Taichi Ishiyama on the mound, Hiroshima third baseman Ryoma Nishikawa scored on Takayoshi Noma’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
Carp reliever Shota Nakazaki (3-0) picked up the win, while Umeno (1-2) incurred the loss.
Giants 5, Dragons 3
Hawks 7, Eagles 1
Lions 1, Buffaloes 0
Fighters 7, Marines 2