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Baseball: McBroom puts Carp on verge of series sweep against Giants

Ryan McBroom of the Hiroshima Carp hits a two-run home run in the ninth inning of a Central League game against the Yomiuri Giants on July 2, 2022, at Mazda Stadium in Hiroshima, western Japan. (Kyodo)

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Ryan McBroom's two-run ninth-inning home run powered the Hiroshima Carp to a 2-0 Central League win over the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday.

    The win before 30,465 at Mazda Stadium pulled the third-place Carp to within a half-game of the second-place Giants after a pitchers' duel between Yomiuri ace Tomoyuki Sugano and Hiroshima's Masato Morishita left both without a decision.

    Ryosuke Kikuchi singled to open Hiroshima's ninth against Giants right-hander Ryuta Heinai (3-3), who served up McBroom's ninth home run of the season.

    "Any time we can win a game against a great team like that is a good day," McBroom said. "Once Kiku (Kikuchi) got that hit, I knew something was going to happen, either from me or (Shogo) Sakakura behind me (in the order).

    "He (Morishita) is one of my favorite pitchers to play behind. You know you'll always get a good start from him."

    Morishita faced down his biggest challenge in the eighth when he struck out hard-hitting new import Adam Walker to leave the bases jammed with Giants.

    Sugano faced little trouble through his seven innings on the mound, and Giants lefty Nobutaka Imamura worked a scoreless eighth. Carp right-hander Makoto Kemna (2-0) did the same in the ninth to earn the win.

    Elsewhere in the CL, the Hanshin Tigers beat the Chunichi Dragons 5-2, while the Yakult Swallows beat the DeNA BayStars 2-1 in 10 innings to extend their league lead to 13-1/2 games.

    In the Pacific League, the Lotte Marines came from behind to beat the Rakuten Eagles 3-1, while Hiromi Ito (6-6) threw a five-hit shutout to outduel Yoshinobu Yamamoto (8-4) in a 5-0 win over the Orix Buffaloes.

    The league-leading SoftBank Hawks came from a run down in the ninth to beat the Seibu Lions 3-2 and increase their lead over Rakuten to 2-1/2 games.

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