If Shinsuke Ogura had forgotten what it felt like to start, he learned for the first time what it felt to start and win as a pro.
Starting for the first time in eight years, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks veteran overcame seven walks to beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 4-3 at Chiba Marine Stadium on Sunday.
"My last start was pretty bad so I don't really remember it," said Ogura (1-0), who allowed an unearned run over five innings for his first win since 2008.
Making his third career start, the lefty struck out one batter and stranded eight Marines batters in his 114-pitch outing.
"I think I should have been able to go a little longer," he said. "But I'm OK with the result."
Hitoshi Tamura homered to tie it in the top of the fifth inning and Yuichi Honda's bases-loaded triple off Yoshihisa Naruse (4-2) capped the scoring in the inning.
Takashi Ogino's speed put the Marines ahead in the third. The rookie reached on an error, stole second and went to third on catcher Tomoya Satozaki's wild throw. He then beat the throw home on a fielder's choice.
Ogura then walked two batters to load the bases with two outs, but he limited the damage to a single run.
Tamura's homer was the third of his career off the Naruse, against whom he is now 11-for-29 overall.
"It didn't miss with my pitch," said Naruse, who went the distance. "He hits that pitch better than most."
Naruse walked the next batter and the Hawks loaded the bases on a pair of fluke singles. A shot from Nobuhiro Matsuda struck third base for a single, and a smash off the bat of Yuya Hasegawa handcuffed first baseman Kim Tae Kyun and rolled into right field.
With no outs and the bags juiced, Naruse nearly escaped the fatal blow. He struck out the next two batters, but fell behind 1-0 to Honda and then left a fat fastball up. The Hawks second baseman smacked it to left center, the drive slicing away from center fielder Ogino and finding the gap.
"When I hit it, I thought he [Ogino] would catch it because he's so fast," Honda said. "I was just trying to bring the runner home from third. That kind of extra-base hit is just a lucky thing for me."
Ogura, who left the bases loaded in the third and fourth, walked the leadoff hitter in the fifth, but left the mound after inducing an inning-ending double play.
In the sixth, right-hander Tadashi Settsu, the Pacific League's 2009 rookie of the year, walked his first two batters and an Ogino infield single loaded them up.
An infield single by Tadahito Iguchi pushed across the Marines' second run. Kim drove one to the wall in left for a sacrifice fly that trimmed the deficit to a run, but the Marines could get no closer.
Brian Falkenborg retired the Marines in order in the seventh, but allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the eighth. A sacrifice put the tying run at second with one out. Ogino tried to bunt his way on, but only managed to advance the runner to third on a sacrifice, but Falkenborg struck out Iguchi to end the inning.
Takahiro Mahara retired the Marines in order in the ninth for his eighth save of the season.
The Hawks' nine walks were the most their pitchers have issued in a game since walking nine Swallows batters in Fukuoka last June 11.