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One fell swoop …

Discussion in the Japanese Baseball Daily forum
One fell swoop …
Hawks down Dragons, win interleague title

The SoftBank Hawks wrapped up the interleague title Wednesday night, swooping in to grab their 17th win vs. the Central League with a 5-3 decision over the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome.

It was the team’s third interleague title, and first since 2009.

“We just battled each game and this is the result,” said skipper Koji Akiyama. “The players really focused and did their jobs each day and that was the key.”

Tsuyoshi Wada (6-1) held the Dragons to a run on six hits and three walks with seven Ks over seven innings for his 22nd interleague victory—most all time—and ninth straight against the CL. Reliever Masahiko Morifuku stamped out a two-run, eighth-inning rally as the Hawks wrapped up the title and the 50 million yen that goes with it.

With one more victory, SoftBank (17-2-2) can equal the interleague wins record (since the 24-game format started in 2007), which Nippon Ham notched in 2007 and the Hawks matched in 2009. The Hawks have three more interleague games, one vs. Chunichi and a pair at Yokohama.

Seiichi Uchikawa is likely to earn the interleague MVP award. He had three hits to help beat the Dragons and has driven in 19 RBIs vs. the CL.


Yu Darvish (8-2) saw his consecutive scoreless innings streak end at 46.2 innings with a third-inning wild pitch, and Matt Murton’s RBI single broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh as Hanshin knocked off Nippon Ham at Koshien Stadium.

Darvish, who saw his eight-game winning streak snapped, tossed his 17th career complete-game loss, fanning 10, allowing nine hits and hitting a batter. Randy Messenger worked six scoreless, but got a no-decision.


Rookie Shota Ishimine reached down and banged a curveball out to left with a man on and two out to push Lotte past Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome.

Yoshifumi Okada put on a clinic, making flying catches all over center field to keep the Marines in it, and after a wild top of the ninth – in which the Marines had the tying run gunned down at the plate, Yasuhiko Yabuta nailed down his 10th save. Yoshihisa Naruse (5-4) kept the Giants to two Alex Ramirez homers over eight innings.

The Giants dropped a season-worst six games under .500 and have not reached double digits in their 15 games at the dome, matching the worst such drought in club history (set 1991).


Masahiro Tanaka (6-2) handcuffed Hiroshima on three hits and a walk while punching out nine for his eighth career shutout as Rakuten cruised at The Zoom.

Luis Garcia got Tanaka all he’d need with a first-inning, two-run blast, his first since joining the team on June 7.


Third-year pro Hideto Asamura had his first career four-hit game and 38-year-old Fumiya Nishiguchi (2-3) worked seven scoreless innings as Seibu blanked Yakult at Jingu Stadium.

Asamura ripped his third homer for a fourth of Seibu’s 16 hits.


Makoto Moriyama’s RBI single tied the score in the fifth, and Orix, despite hitting three homers, and Yokohama played to a tie at Yokohama Stadium.

[Edited by: jgibson on Jun 16, 2011 6:30 PM]

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