Veteran pinch-hitter Ryuhei Matsuyama cleared the bases with a three-run double, bringing the Hiroshima Carp from behind in a 7-5 Central League win over the Hanshin Tigers on Thursday.

With Hiroshima trailing 4-2 at Hyogo Prefecture's historic Koshien Stadium outside Osaka and Hanshin's outfield playing shallow with one out and the bases loaded, the 37-year-old Matsuyama hit a deep fly that even speedy center fielder Koji Chikamoto was unable to haul in.

All three base runners circled the bases as the ball dropped on the warning track, and the Carp added two unearned insurance runs in the eighth.

"My goal was to bring the runner home from third, even if just with a fly ball, and I was able to hit in a really good spot," Matsuyama said.

The Tigers threatened in the ninth when Carp closer Ryoji Kuribayashi allowed a run on some well-hit balls, but the right-hander held on for his sixth save.

The two-time defending league champion Tokyo Yakult Swallows beat the Chunichi Dragons 3-2 in a walk-off on WBC catcher Yuhei Nakamura's 11th-inning sayonara single.

In the Pacific League, the Japan Series champion Orix Buffaloes beat the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 3-1, while the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters blanked the Lotte Marines 2-0.