Hiroshima – Takumi Oshiro homered to cap a three-run first inning as the Yomiuri Giants took advantage of tentative pitching from the Hiroshima Carp and never looked back in a 9-4 Central League win on Thursday.
Carp right-hander Kazuki Yabuta (0-1) surrendered a leadoff double to Yoshiyuki Kamei and then avoided challenging hitters in the strike zone. Trailing 1-0 with two outs and one on, he fell behind to Oshiro who drove a 2-1 fastball well back into Mazda Stadium's outfield seats.
Giants starter Cristopher Mercedes (1-2) allowed two runs over six innings to earn the win. The lefty struck out six and walked three.
Yabuta, making his first start of the season after working effectively out of the bullpen, allowed three runs on three hits and three walks over three innings.
The Carp made it a 3-2 game in the fourth, but the Giants' Naoki Yoshikawa homered in the sixth with Zelous Wheeler on base. Kazuma Okamoto hit his eighth homer of the season in the seventh with a man on to make it 7-2 and put the game out of reach.
At Nagoya Dome, Toshiki Abe drove in runs with each of his three hits, while lefty Yuichiro Okano (2-1) worked five scoreless innings with the help of three double plays as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Yokohama DeNA BayStars 8-0.
At Koshien Stadium, Kosuke Fukudome's pinch-hit two-run double tied it 3-3 in the sixth. After Jerry Sands' eighth-inning homer tied it 4-4, Fukudome untied the game with a two-run home run for the Hanshin Tigers in a 6-4 win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
In the Pacific League, Sachiya Yamasaki (1-0) allowed two runs over five innings and Adam Jones hit a mammoth two-run home run for the Orix Buffaloes in a 4-3 victory over the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
At Sendai's Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Daichi Suzuki scored two runs and drove in two, while right-hander Kohei Morihara struck out the side in the ninth for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to earn his fourth save in a 7-4 win over the Saitama Seibu Lions.
At Sapporo Dome, Leonys Martin singled in two runs to tie the game 2-2 in the fifth and Tsuyoshi Sugano followed with an RBI single off Drew VerHagen (1-1) in the Chiba Lotte Marines' 4-3 win over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
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