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Hawks answer against Lions, 7-1

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Hawks answer against Lions, 7-1
The Hawks are certainly not letting thumpings like yesterday get on their nerves. It seems that every time they get shellacked, SoftBank answers back with an impressive win. This time, it was Hideaki Takahashi who came in and made sure that the Hawks were able to go to SBM to shut down the Lions and secure a 7-1 win.

In five innings, Takahashi was every bit Kazuhisa Ishii's equal, and while he scattered five hits, he did only give up one run and struck out five while walking two. That was enough for SBM to work with, as they worked the last four innings. Settsu worked the 6th, giving up a hit and striking out a man, Falkenborg struck out two of the three batters he faced in the 7th, and Mahara worked the 8th and 9th for a six-out save.

On the other hand, the Seibu bullpen pulled the same stunt that SoftBank's did yesterday: they couldn't buy an out in the 8th as Tomoki Hoshino gave up all five runs that the home Hawks would score in the inning. The five runs would waste a good start from Ishii, as he gave up two runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out two.

The game was not without its criticisms. The Hawks stranded 11 men on base and Seibu left nine, though a lot of both teams' stranded runners came with 1st and 2nd and two down.

Like yesterday, the game was tight until the 8th, when Tomoki Hoshino took the gas pipe after being one of the bullpen heroes yesterday for Seibu. The mess was all his own doing, as he gave up a single to Hasegawa with one down, followed by a walk to Hiroshi Shibahara. After a groundout from Yamazaki, the top of the order came up in Kawasaki and he drew a walk of his own to load the bases.

Yuichi Honda, who has had an awful season so far, socked his third triple of the season to clean the bases out and give SoftBank a now-comfortable 5-1 lead. More trouble came in the person of Nobuhiro Matsuda, and he drove home Honda with a timely hit to left that chased the left-handed Hoshino.

Yosuke Okamoto came in to relieve, but found trouble himself. Satoru Morimoto singled himself, and Tamura also singled, this one driving home Matsuda to end the scoring at 7-1.

The young third baseman of the future was clearly one of the heroes of the game, as he had also socked his 2nd home run of the season to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead in the very first inning.

The Hawks look to take another series tomorrow as they send Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1, 2.67) to the mound, while Seibu will give the ball to Fumiya Nishiguchi (1-1, 7.07).

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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