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Shimizu works magic against Hawks

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Shimizu works magic against Hawks

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Forman years, Nao Shimizu was the de facto ace of the Chiba Lotte Marines, although his statistics never really backed him up. Today, Shimizu did something he hadn't done in two years: throw a complete game shutout, this one at the expense of the Hawks.

Sporting a filthy cutter and forkball, Shimizu was not going to let the Hawks get anything across on this day. He also had help from his offense, for once.

Leadoff man Takehiro Ishikawa led off the home half of the first with a double to left-center, one of his two on the day. After a sacrifice, Seiichi Uchikawa drew a walk to set up slugger Shuichi Murata. Murata is never a guy pitchers want to face, even though he is struggling so far this year. He hit a cue shot right through the gap between 1st and 2nd, giving Yokohama a 1-0 lead.

A walk to Terrmel Sledge loaded the bases, and after a flyout, another one to Tatsuya Shimozono gave the BayStars a quick 2-0 lead. Shingo Takeyama flew out to mercifully end the inning, but the damage was done.

It would be all that Shimizu needed, as he worked out of jams in the 2nd, 4th, and 7th, with two of them involving leadoff doubles hit by Tamura in his former park. In the 2nd, Tamura was caught in a rundown at home in a bad exhibition of baserunning. In the 4th, he was stranded there when nobody could drive him in.

In another case of bullpen breakdown, the Hawks sent Keisuke Kattoh to the mound, but he was lit up for three runs by the middle of the BayStars order. After getting two outs, one of them from Fujita getting caught stealing, Uchikawa doubled, Murata drove him in with a single, and Sledge hammered a 2-run shot to give the BayStars some much-needed breathing room at 6-0.

Yokohama would add two more in the 8th off Kume, as he loaded the bases, and then Fujita hit a 2-run single to end the scoring at 8-0.

SoftBank's other game with Yokohama was rained out, so it will be made up at a later date. The Hawks will play again tomorrow against the dreaded Yomiuri Giants. Toshiya Sugiuchi (7-1, 3.25) goes against Dicky Gonzalez (3-5, 4.92).
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