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SoftBank wins ugly over Orix, 8-6

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SoftBank wins ugly over Orix, 8-6
This is probably the ugliest win of the season so far for the SoftBank Hawks. The Hawks managed to beat the Orix Buffaloes in their first trip to Kyocera Dome this season, 8-6. This game saw most of the offense in the first half, but the Hawks were able to keep it up over the long haul.

D.J. Houlton (1-2) started for SoftBank and was in and out of trouble all day long, but managed to go 5 and 1/3 innings to get the win as his offense picked him up. The foreign righty was still rocked for all six runs that the Buffaloes got, with five of them earned. The low point of his start was the 3rd inning, when he gave up back-to-back home runs to the white-hot Alex Cabrera (3) and Takahiro Okada (3).

However, SoftBank's offense was equally as effective against Mamoru Kishida (0-2).

The match settled down into a battle of the bullpens, as both teams sent four relievers to the mound. On the Hawks side, Morifuku failed to retire the only batter he faced, but it was SBM to the rescue once again.

Settsu cleaned up after Houlton and Morifuku, and also worked the 7th for a total of 1 and 2/3 innings in which he gave up a hit, a walk, and also struck one man out.

Falkenborg worked the 8th and recorded two strikeouts on both So Taguchi and Makoto Shiozaki to record another hold for himself.

Mahara pitched to four batters in the 9th, striking out Keiji Ohbiki and retiring pinch-hitter Fumihiro Suzuki and Shogo Akada on fly balls to end the threat started by Shinji Shimoyama after he beat out a slow roller. The save marked Mahara's 5th of the season.

The Buffaloes bullpen was equally impressive, as they sent Tsuyoshi Kikuchihara, Satoshi Komatsu, Ryota Katsuki, and Tooru Anan to the mound. Kikuchihara and Komatsu combined to finish the 7th, but the Hawks got to Katsuki for an insurance run in the 8th when Jose Ortiz singled in the speedy Kawasaki.

The Hawks turn to Yasushi Kamiuchi (0-0, 1.86) who hasn't started a game since August 26th of last year. The Buffaloes counter with junkballer Shogo Yamamoto (1-1, 6.19).

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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