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Baseball: Murakami's 2-run homers lift Swallows past Carp

Munetaka Murakami of the Yakult Swallows hits a two-run home run in the ninth inning of a Central League game against the Hiroshima Carp on June 29, 2022, at Mazda Stadium in Hiroshima. (Kyodo)

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Yakult Swallows slugger Munetaka Murakami blasted back-to-back two-run homers and went deep for the third straight game as the Central League-leading team hammered the Hiroshima Carp 9-2 on Wednesday.

    The 22-year-old slugged his 28th home run of the season off third Hiroshima pitcher Yasunori Kikuchi in the eighth inning, giving his team a 5-1 lead, before getting his 29th in the ninth, this time off Ryuya Matsumoto, again over the left-center-field fence at Mazda Stadium.

    Yakult starter Juri Hara (6-3) threw six shutout innings allowing seven hits and a hit batsman, edging his opposite number Atsushi Endo (3-5) who threw the same innings allowing two runs on five hits, before Murakami took center stage.

    Tetsuto Yamada's solo shot and a sacrifice fly gave Yakult a two-run lead in the fourth and Taiki Hamada's RBI triple scored the Swallows their third run in the seventh. Shogo Sakakura got a run back with a solo shot for Hiroshima in the home half.

    Kotaro Yamasaki's RBI double and Yamada's RBI single had given the Swallows a 7-1 lead before Murakami's second homer of the day. Kaito Kozono singled in a run in the last frame, but the result was beyond Hiroshima's reach by then.

    The DeNA BayStars beat the Hanshin Tigers 4-2, while the Chunichi Dragons won 3-2 after 10 innings against the Yomiuri Giants.

    The Orix Buffaloes won 6-1 over the Rakuten Eagles and the Seibu Lions won their five straight games beating the Nippon Ham Fighters 6-2 in the Pacific League.

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