HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) – Takumi Akiyama allowed a seven innings hit and Jefry Marte hit a three run home run as the Central League top Hanshin Tigers beat Hiroshima Carp 4-1 on Saturday.
Akiyama (10-5), who took 10 wins for the second time in a row, held the carp at Mazda Stadium until Ryoma Nishikawa landed in the seventh solo home with two outs.
The right-hander hit one batter and hit three in an efficient 80-pitch effort in which he faced only 22 batterers.
“At first I’m relieved,” said Akiyama, who had more than 10 wins as one of his goals for the season. “I wasn’t aiming (a no-hitter) and didn’t think about it at all.”
The Tigers stranded in the second and again in the third against Hiroshima’s Koya Takahashi (3-5). The third time, however, the attraction proved. After a single and a walk, Marte shot a fat fastball into the left grandstand.
That was all for Takahashi, who allowed three runs with seven hits and two walks over five innings.
Mel Rojas Jr. completed the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth inning, and Robert Suarez, Hanshin’s third pitcher, worked ninth to record his 31st save.
At Jingu Stadium, Domingo Santana and Jose Osuna each had a homered and drove in three runs as runner-up Yakult Swallows beat DeNA BayStars 9-2 to stay three games ahead of the Tigers.
At the Tokyo Dome, Masaru Watanabe gave the Chunichi Dragons a 5-0 lead with a home run in three runs in the second inning in a 5-4 win over third-placed Yomiuri Giants, who lost their sixth straight for the first time in two years .
In the Sapporo Dome, the Nippon Ham Fighters scored 11 runs in the first inning, 10 of them ahead of SoftBank Hawks starter Shuta Ishikawa (5-9), in a 17: 5 against the defending champions of the Pacific League.
In the MetLife Dome Tatsuya Imai (7: 5) defeated the Seibu Lions 7-0 win against second-placed Orix Buffaloes, who fell one game behind first-placed Lotte Marines, 13 in a 142-pitch three-hitter.
At Zozo Marine Stadium, Kazuya Ojima (7-3) threw a four-hitter to get the Marines to a 4-1 win over third-placed Rakuten Eagles.