Baseball: McBroom puts Carp on the edge of the series against Giants

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Hiroshima Carp’s Ryan McBroom hits a double 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 home run in the ninth inning from two runs propelled the Hiroshima Carp to a 2-0 Central League win over the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday.

The win by 30,465 at Mazda Stadium drew third-placed Carp to within a half-game of second-placed Giants after a pitcher duel between yomiuri ace Tomoyuki Sugano and Hiroshima’s Masato Morishita left both undecided.

Ryosuke Kikuchi opened Hiroshima’s ninth game 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 such a great team, it’s a good day,” said McBroom. “When Kiku (Kikuchi) got that hit, I knew something was going to happen, either from me or from (Shogo) Sakakura behind me (in that order).

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

Morishita faced his biggest challenge in game eight when he defeated hard-hitting new import Adam Walker to exit bases-packed Giants.

Sugano had little trouble during his seven innings on the mound, and Giants lefthander Nobutaka Imamura scored a scoreless eighth. Carp right-hander Makoto Kemna (2-0) did the same in the ninth to claim the win.

Elsewhere in the CL, the Hanshin Tigers beat the Chunichi Dragons 5-2 while the Yakult Swallows defeated 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 defeated the Rakuten Eagles 3-1, while Hiromi Ito (6-6) threw a five-hit shutout and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (8-4) defeated the Orix Buffaloes 5-0.

The league-leading SoftBank Hawks defeated the Seibu Lions 3-2 in ninth place, extending their lead over Rakuten to 2-1/2 games.

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