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Kuriyama, Nakajima provide all the offense in 10-4 shellacking

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Kuriyama, Nakajima provide all the offense in 10-4 shellacking
Today the Hawks were on the wrong end of a pitching mismatch. They ran into Seibu ace Hideaki Wakui, and he was spectacular, as per usual. SoftBank starter Hiroki Yamada, on the other hand, was not.

In his third start against the Lions, Yamada (2-3, 5.72) once again couldn't make it easy for his bullpen. He was rocked for five runs on as many hits, with a walk, a strikeout, a balk, a hit batsman, and a wild pitch en route to a 10-3 loss.

Seibu shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima supplied three runs in the very first inning with a three run shot (13), and two more runs came across in the second with RBI singles from Takumi Kuriyama and Nakajima.

The Hawks bullpen was taxed for the rest of the game. Yoshiaki Fujioka was called on and he put up three innings of two-run ball, getting seven strikeouts. Both runs were a direct response to Tamura's two-run home run (18) in the top of the fourth. And, you guessed it, Nakajima did the honors with a bases loaded, two-run single that scored Uemoto and Tomoaki Satoh and also got him his fifth and sixth RBI's of the day.

Not to be outdone, Kuriyama picked up RBI's two, three, and four all at once on his fourth home run of the season in the eighth inning off Hawks lefty Masahiko Morifuku to cap the Seibu scoring for the day.

Wakui (12-6, 3.21) was on cruise control pretty much all day, as he put up eight innings of three run ball, all from Tamura, who also added an RBI single, driving in Honda in the 8th, with Wakui's pitch count steadily rising. In all, he threw 142 pitches, with nine hits, one walk, and six strikeouts.

The final run of the day came off Shuichiro Osada, who gave up a pinch-hit solo blast to the recently-recalled Lee Bum-ho. His third homer of the season pulled the Hawks to 10-4, but it was the classic case of too little, too late.

By virtue of the loss, the Hawks are now only one and a half games ahead of Seibu going into tomorrow. The visitors will send Toshiya Sugiuchi (13-4, 3.18) to the mound against Kazuyuki Hoashi (8-7, 3.68).

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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