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Saturday, Sep. 17, 2011

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Solid contact: The Hawks' Munenori Kawasaki smacks a runscoring double in the second inning against the Fighters on Friday. Fukuoka Softbank beat Hokkaido Nippon Ham 4-0. KYODO

Hawks' Otonari silences Marines; Saito struggles


FUKUOKA — The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks jumped on rookie Yuki Saito early to beat the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 4-0 and push their Pacific League lead to 6½ games on Friday.

Seiichi Uchikawa opened the scoring with an RBI single and Munenori Kawasaki had a run-scoring double, helping the Hawks to a 3-0 lead through the first two innings at Yahoo Dome.

Nobuhiro Matsuda added an RBI double in the fifth in the opener of a three-game set between the top two teams.

Kenji Otonari (1-0) struck out 11 and scattered two hits over eight innings in his first start since July 14.

The left-hander retired 20 batters in a row between the first and seventh innings before Sho Nakata led off the eighth with a double.

Saito (5-5) lost his third straight start, giving up four runs and eight hits in five innings of work.

Lions 6, Eagles 5

At Seibu Dome, rookie Shogo Akiyama capped a three-hit, three-RBI night with a walk-off single in the ninth inning, lifting Seibu to a win over Tohoku Rakuten.

Seibu relievers blew a five-run lead in the top of the ninth after Kazuyuki Hoashi threw eight shutout innings. Hiroyuki Nakajima hit a two-run homer among his three hits for the Lions.

Buffaloes 4, Marines 2

At Chiba's QVC Marine Field, Lee Seung Yeop singled in two runs in a three-run first inning as Orix handed Chiba Lotte its fourth consecutive loss.

Yuki Nishi (9-5) allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings for the Buffaloes, who returned to .500. Hiroki Ueno (3-4) took the loss.

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