NAGOYA – Two-straight bases-loaded walks extended the Hiroshima Carp’s losing streak to 11 games in a 2-1 loss to the Chunichi Dragons on Wednesday.
The Carp, CL champions the past three seasons, have now lost 11 games out of their last 12, a stretch that includes a tie on June 30. The Carp took a 1-0 lead thanks to an impressive start from Kris Johnson, but the roof caved in on left-handed reliever Kyle Regnault (4-1) in the eighth inning.
Ryosuke Hirata hit a booming single to open the frame for the host Dragons at Nagoya Dome, and Yohei Oshima reached on an infield single. With first base open after a sacrifice, the Carp intentionally walked 2018 CL batting champion Dayan Viciedo to load the bases.
But after a force at home for the second out, Regnault missed outside with a 3-2 pitch to walk Atsushi Fujii and tie it. Then four straight balls to Yota Kyoda put Chunichi in front.
Johnson struck out seven over seven scoreless innings, while walking two and allowing four singles. The visitors took the lead in the sixth, when Takumi Miyoshi, acquired in a recent trade from the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, doubled and scored on a grounder off Johnson’s bat.
Dragons lefty Enny Romero allowed a run on three hits without a walk over seven innings and struck out seven.
Daisuke Sobue (2-2) worked a scoreless eighth to get the win. In the ninth, Viciedo made a sharp play at first to close it out, as Raidel Martinez worked around a leadoff single to record his sixth save.
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