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Hoashi helps Lions avenge blowout

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Hoashi helps Lions avenge blowout

by Jim Allen (May 24, 2009)

Kazuyuki Hoashi helped the Lions settle a score on Saturday.

One day after his team took a 15-5 beating, the southpaw pitched eight innings in Saitama Seibu's 10-6 interleague victory over the Yokohama BayStars at Seibu Dome.

"You can't take something like that lying down, so I was eager to get out there and do my bit," Hoashi said. "Giving up two home runs gives it a bittersweet taste, however."

The Lions amassed a season-high 17 hits and two batters reached on errors to back Hoashi (2-2), who kept the BayStars on the ground for six innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five.

The side-armer took a seven-run lead into the seventh before surrendering his first home run of the season--after 50-2/3 innings--a two-run shot to Takahiro Saeki. Tatsuhiko Kinjo hit another two-run shot in the eighth. Yuki Yoshimura gave the visitors three deuces with another two-run homer off reliever Shinya Okamoto in the ninth.

"He did his job," Lions manager Hisanobu Watanabe said of Hoashi. "Obviously, he had some issues in the end I'm sure he'll address. We didn't finish the game the way we'd like, and this has to be an important lesson for us, but we bounced back and got the win."

Lions No. 2 hitter Takumi Kuriyama went 3-for-5, scored twice and drove in a run to lead the Lions' attack.

BayStars starter Ryan Glynn (2-5) lasted five innings and got zero run support for the fourth time this season. But this afternoon, it didn't really matter as he allowed six runs, five earned, in five innings.

Glynn worked ahead in counts and made his pitches, but--in the zone or out, up or down--he couldn't keep the Lions from hitting them.

"Our plan to deal with Glynn was to focus on taking compact swings, and I think the hitters did an excellent job of that," Watanabe said.

Yasuyuki Kataoka's scratch leadoff single in the first set the tone for the afternoon. Kataoka made a defensive swing on an 0-2 pitch low and out of the zone and just bounced it through the infield.

Two more singles of only slightly better quality made it 1-0 before G.G. Sato got ahead in the count and singled on a high fastball to make it 2-0 with two outs.

A good defensive play by left fielder Seiichi Uchikawa at the foul line may have prevented two more runs from scoring, but the Lions picked up where they left off in the second.

This time Tomoaki Sato opened the attack with a bloop single off a 2-2 pitch out of the zone. Sato scored from third on Kuriyama's second single.

Hiroyuki Nakajima, who had singled in the Lions' first run, doubled home Kuriyama and scored on a double by Takeya Nakamura.

Watanabe had tried something fresh at the bottom of the order, starting reserve outfielder Tomoaki Sato in the eighth spot and having catcher Tatsuyuki Uemoto bat ninth in his first career start.

"Our offense had been breaking down at the bottom of the order, so I thought I'd make a change," the skipper said.

The pair combined for five hits, two runs and two RBIs as the Lions evened their interleague record to 2-2.

"It was important to come back and get even, but I would prefer to win the first game and then sweep," Watanabe said.

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