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Extra Effort Required by Hawks to dispatch Yakult

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Extra Effort Required by Hawks to dispatch Yakult

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The SoftBank Hawks finally got into the Interleague winner's column yesterday against the Yakult Swallows. It took 11 innings, but they pulled out a win thanks to SBM once again.

Reigning Interleague MVP Toshiya Sugiuchi once again flashed his prowess in May and on Sundays. The Hawks lefty was knocked around for five runs (four earned) on seven hits in seven-plus innings, striking out eight, walking one, hitting two, and throwing one wild pitch. However, he did not factor in the decision.

Neither did his counterpart, Kyohei Muranaka. In six innings, Muranaka gave up two runs on five hits, walking four and striking out six. It was a start good enough to win, but the Yakult bullpen, crippled by the loss of Ryota Igarashi to the New York Mets, fumbled away a surefire win.

Takehiko Oshimoto was the reason why the Hawks were able to push this game into extra innings and eventually win. Honda singled his way on and stole second for SoftBank, while Ortiz walked to set up Hiroki Kokubo. Kokubo-teichou once again came through in the clutch, for his 10th home run of the season to tie the game, and it was also his second home run of the day.

On the other hand, the Hawks' amazing bullpen trio of Settsu (1 inning, 1K), Mahara (2IP, 2H, 1K, W), and Falkenborg (1IP 1K, S) saved the day.

Honda ended up singling home the game-winning run in the top of the 11th after Katsuki Yamazaki of all people led off with a double off Yakult reliever Masubuchi.

SoftBank gets back to work today against the Swallows, looking to record their second straight win.
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