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Bullpen fails Hawks again

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Bullpen fails Hawks again

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Usually a strength of the SoftBank Hawks, the bullpen has all of a sudden imploded around the team. No more was this prevalent than today, when the bullpen wasted a quality start from D.J. Houlton and a five-run 8th inning sunk the Hawks hopes of a win today, 8-2.

It could be said that the Hawks were never in this game from the start as Takayuki Kishi put together a start spanning 6 and 2/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits, walking one, hitting one, and striking out nine. His bullpen also picked him up, as Tomoki Hoshino and Shuichiro Osada worked scoreless 2/3 of an inning, and Yosuke Okamoto gave up a run in the 9th at the hands of Tamura, who hit a solo blast (3).

The game was 2-1 in favor of Seibu in the 7th, but the Hawks could not buy an out in the 8th. The Lions loaded the bases with one out when Dee Brown singled in a run. Koji Mise came on, but Takayama singled in two more runs, and then with Akio Mizuta on the mound, Yasushi Ishii hit a routine fly to left that was muffed by Ortiz in left.

It got worse as Hosokawa singled home a run himself, and in the next inning, Fujioka gave up an RBI double to Kurihara to make it 8-1 at the time.

For seven frames, the game was very close, as Houlton (2-3, 6.84) ended up taking the hard-luck loss. He gave up two runs on eight hits in seven innings while recording nine strikeouts of his own and he also didn't walk anyone. It proved to be one of Houlton's best starts of the season, and two of his last three starts have been pretty good.

However, it was not enough to match Kishi (4-1, 2.94), who struck out four batters in a row at one point. His career against SoftBank has been stellar, as he improved to 10-2 with a 2.38 ERA.

Tomorrow the Hawks look to rebound with Hideaki Takahashi (NR) against Kazuhisa Ishii (2-0, 3.79).
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