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Yamada gives SoftBank win, 2nd straight complete game

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Yamada gives SoftBank win, 2nd straight complete game

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While I had an idea that the Hawks were high on 23-year old phenom lefty Hiroki Yamada, nobody could have expected him to have the season he is having so far.

Yamada went the distance, out-dueling Hanshin Tigers starter and fellow lefty Atsushi Nohmi en route to his first career complete game, blanking the inexplicably anemic Tigers offense, 4-0.

The game was broken open with one out in the 6th by Kawasaki, who tripled home Hasegawa to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. The Hawks' shortstop was sent home by his double play mate Honda, who grounded out. Hanshin was willing to trade the second run for an out at this point, maybe hoping to get to SoftBank's injury-depleted bullpen.

It didn't happen. Yamada (W, 4-2, 2.37) turned in the start of his career, and right on the heels of Houlton's two-hitter the other day against Hiroshima. In going the distance, Yamada gave up only four hits, with only one runner reaching third. He also struck out seven and walked two.

Nohmi (L, 2-3, 3.61) was chased in the 8th, and the rally started the exact same way the rally in the 6th did: Hasegawa singled his way on, was sacrificed to second by Hosokawa, and Kawasaki tripled home the Hawks' center fielder. Honda drew a walk to end Nohmi's day.

Shinobu Fukuhara was first out of the 'pen, but it was his batterymate and former Hawk Kenji Johjima that let him down. Honda made a break for second, but Johjima threw it away, allowing Kawasaki to score for the fourth and final run.

The Hawks remain undefeated in Interleague, but trail the Chunichi Dragons in the wins column for first place. In the Pacific League, SoftBank leapfrogged Nippon Ham for first place there.

SoftBank goes back to work tomorrow as they will send lefty ace Toshiya Sugiuchi (1-2, 1.62) to the mound against Yasutomo Kubo (2-2, 2.97).
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