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Baseball: Giants score 3 runs in 9th in walk-off over Carp

Hiroyuki Nakajima of the Yomiuri Giants hits a walk-off two-run single in the ninth inning of a Central League baseball game against the Hiroshima Carp on May 17, 2022, in Utsunomiya, eastern Japan. (Kyodo)

UTSUNOMIYA (Kyodo) -- The Yomiuri Giants scored three runs in the ninth inning as they walked off with a 3-2 win over the Hiroshima Carp in the Central League Tuesday.

    Two singles and a walk off Hiroshima starter Atsushi Endo (2-3) loaded the bases with no out at Utsunomiya Kiyohara Stadium. Gregory Polanco singled in a run off lefty reliever Nik Turley before Hiroyuki Nakajima also singled to left to plate the decisive two runs.

    "It feels great to be a hero before the fans at a ground where we don't normally get to play," Nakajima said after the game was held away from their home stadium, Tokyo Dome, and instead in Tochigi Prefecture, north of the capital.

    "The chance came around to me with things set up nicely, and I wanted to be the hero in any way possible."

    Endo had blanked the Giants over eight frames, but the late collapse left the right-hander tagged with the loss, allowing all the three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out seven in a 120-pitch effort.

    His opposite number, C.C. Mercedes, gave up two runs in the second, a walk and a double leaving two on before Shota Suekane singled to right to drive both Hiroshima's runs.

    The lefty bounced back to go eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks as he fanned five in a 117-pitch outing.

    Yomiuri's third pitcher Seishu Hatake (2-0), earned the win after throwing a scoreless ninth, despite taking over the mound from Yuki Takahashi with two on and no outs.

    Hatake intentionally loaded the bases with one out before the right-hander retired Endo with a double-play, paving the way for the dramatic turnaround in the home half.

    CL-leading Yakult Swallows scored two runs in the ninth as they also walked off with a 2-1 win over the Hanshin Tigers, while DeNA BayStars beat the Chunichi Dragons on the back of a four-hitter from Shota Imanaga (1-0).

    The Lotte Marines claimed a 6-3 comeback win over the Pacific League-leading Rakuten Eagles. The Orix Buffaloes won 3-0 against the Nippon Ham Fighters, and the SoftBank Hawks beat the Seibu Lions 5-1.

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