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Baseball: Hirata's multi-hit outing helps power Dragons past Carp

Ryosuke Hirata of the Chunichi Dragons during a game against the Hiroshima Carp in Nagoya on Sept. 8, 2018 (Kyodo)

NAGOYA (Kyodo) -- Leadoff man Ryosuke Hirata drove in three runs on a pair of hits as the Chunichi Dragons beat the Hiroshima Carp 6-5 in the Central League on Saturday.

Coming into the game with a CL third-best .337 batting average, Hirata hit RBIs in the third and fifth innings to help power the last-place Dragons past the league leaders in front of 36,189 at Nagoya Dome.

Hiroshima went ahead in the top of the first when CL home run leader Yoshihiro Maru launched his 35th bomb of the season, a two-run effort that sent Dragons starter Kento Fujishima's 1-2 fastball deep over right field.

The lead was short-lived, however, with errant fielding by the visitors helping the Dragons go up 3-2 in the bottom of the third.

Masato Matsui, who led off with a double off Hiroshima starter Daichi Osera, was able to score on a Fujishima bunt thanks to a botched tag attempt at third base.

Next man up Hirata brought home Fujishima with a double deep to right before scoring on the same play when outfielder Seiya Suzuki's throw to home bounced over catcher Yoshitaka Isomura's head.

The visitors tied it up in the top of the fifth, when Ryosuke Kikuchi scored on a bases-loaded fly single by Ryoma Nishikawa, then edged ahead 4-3 on a Takahiro Arai sacrifice fly that brought home Maru.

Matsui tied the game with his second hit, an RBI double through center in the top of the seventh, before Hirata drove a 2-RBI double straight up the middle to give the home side a 6-4 lead.

Hiroshima shortstop Kosuke Tanaka scored on a Xavier Batista single in the top of the eighth to cut the deficit to one run.

Yu Sato ended the game with a 1-2-3 ninth after Daisuke Sobue and Joely Rodriguez had each given the Dragons a scoreless inning of relief.

Fujishima (3-1) got the win after a six-inning outing in which he struck out four, walked four and gave up four runs on six hits. Osera (15-6) took the loss, giving up four runs on 10 hits in 5-1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.


Giants 7, Tigers 2

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin starter Taiki Ono kept Yomiuri scoreless through four innings before surrendering six runs in the top of the fifth. Hayato Sakamoto and Kazuma Okamoto each hit two-run homers for the third-place Giants.


Swallows 7, BayStars 6

At Yokohama Stadium, Yakult outfielder Yuhei Takai hit his second solo home run of the game in the top of the ninth to break the deadlock along with the hearts of DeNA fans. Reliever Kazuki Kondo got the win and Taichi Ishiyama the save after both teams went deep into their rotations.


Pacific League

Hawks 12, Buffaloes 0

At Yafuoku Dome, SoftBank's batters sent Orix starter Taisuke Yamaoka to an early shower during a seven-run rally in the bottom of the fourth. Ariel Miranda got the win after holding the visitors to three hits and striking out six over six innings.


Eagles 9, Fighters 4

At Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, PL cellar dwellers Rakuten belted eight runs in the bottom of the second against visiting Nippon Ham. Yasuhito Uchida, Zelous Wheeler and Kazuya Fujita hit homers for the Eagles.


Marines 13, Lions 9

At MetLife Dome, first-place Seibu saw their lead in the PL standings cut to four after allowing Lotte to come from behind. Nippon Professional Baseball home run leader Hotaka Yamakawa took his season tally to 37 with a solo bomb in the bottom of the seventh for Seibu.

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