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Ogura's struggles continue as Hawks give back second place

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Ogura's struggles continue as Hawks give back second place

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Shinsuke Ogura has always been a hit-or-miss lefty for the Hawks. After being a stud for the Hawks' battered rotation, he has been knocked around for the last few starts he's had. While he started out as a strikeout machine, he seems to have become vulnerable and is giving up a lot of hits and runs to go with a rising amount of walks.

While he did put his team in a position to win for the first four innings, he unraveled in the 5th today against the Marines as the Hawks couldn't match their offensive output from yesterday.

Yuta Ohmine started for the Marines, having not recorded a win since April 14th against the Nippon Ham Fighters. His luck finally changed in his six-inning start today, as he also recorded a textbook quality start (6IP, 3ER, 6H, 3BB, 6K) en route to his 3rd win of the year, evening his record at 3-3.

As stated before, Ogura continued to struggle with his command and confidence. With SoftBank leading 3-2 in the 5th, that was when the wheels fell off. Former Hawks catcher Naoki Matoba and Toshiaki Imae both singled their way on, then advanced to 2nd and 3rd respectively when Ogura uncorked a wild pitch. Iguchi grounded out to second for the second out, but then Kim Tae-Kyun doubled home both Matoba and Imae to catapult Lotte into the lead, 4-3.

After Shoitsu Ohmatsu walked, Saburo then came up and blasted a two-run triple to right, then Naotaka Takehara doubled home Saburo. It almost got worse as Ogura uncorked his second wild pitch of the inning, then walked Ryusuke Minami. Ogura's day was finished, and Kanazawa cleaned up the mess by catching Matoba looking.

Ogura's (L, 3-5) final line was four and two-thirds innings, giving up seven runs (six earned) on six hits, with four walks and three strikeouts, with two wild pitches and one home run, this one served up to Imae in the home half of the first (5).

As stated earlier, the Hawks' offense did put Ogura in a position to win, as Ortiz hit a two-run single in the first, and Kawasaki hit an RBI triple in the 2nd. However, for the rest of the game the offense was stuck in neutral. Nobody reached second base for either team from the 6th inning on, and after the second inning, SoftBank failed to get a runner that far.

The Hawks and Marines meet up for the rubber game of the series tomorrow, as Hiroki Yamada (1-1, 4.08) goes against Mr. Submarine, Shunsuke Watanabe (5-3, 3.90).
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