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Matsunaka homers twice, Sugiuchi shines in Hawks’ victory

Kyodo

Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit two of the team’s five homers and Toshiya Sugiuchi pitched a four-hitter Monday as the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks demolished the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 10-1 at Sapporo Dome.

News photo WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="147"/>Toshiya Sugiuchi of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks pitches against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters at Sapporo Dome.

Matsunaka connected for his first of two solo shots off Shintaro Ejiri (2-1) in a six-run third inning to put the visitors up 7-0 and hit his second homer off Yusaku Iriki in the seventh as the Hawks won their sixth in seven games.

Kenji Jojima, Tony Batista and Naoyuki Omura also went deep in a 15-hit attack.

Sugiuchi (4-0), who was limited to 10 games last year after fracturing both hands, struck out 10 of 32 batters he faced and limited the damage to an Atsunori Inaba solo shot in the eighth. He maintained his perfect record after five starts.

Marines 8, Lions 2

At Chiba Marine Stadium, Toshiaki Imae drove in three runs on a run-scoring error by third baseman Tatetoshi Goto and a two-run triple, and Kazuya Fukuura chipped in another two runs as Lotte beat Seibu for its fifth straight victory.

Shunsuke Watanabe (4-0) held the Lions to two runs and seven hits over eight strong innings and the Marines went 10 games over .500 for the first time in 10 years.

Buffaloes 7, Eagles 1

Mitsutaka Goto went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer off rookie right-hander Yasuhiro Ichiba (0-3) and the Orix bats pounded out 12 hits in a triumph over Rakuten.

The Buffaloes snapped their losing streak after five games, but the Eagles were sent to their ninth straight defeat.

Eagles add infielder

The Rakuten Eagles will acquire the services of Colorado Rockies minor league infielder Andy Tracy, team sources said Monday.

The 31-year-old Tracy, who throws with his right hand and bats lefty, hit .188 with three hits in 15 games for the Rockies last season.

Tracy was promoted to the majors with the Montreal Expos in 2000 and batted .206 with 11 homers in 83 games. He has a career .224 major league average with 13 homers in 136 games.

It is the first time since the start of the season that Rakuten will attempt to bolster its lineup after suffering its eighth straight defeat Sunday.

Foreign imports Luis Lopez and Damon Minor have failed to live up to expectations for the newly created Pacific League team and are seen as one of the reasons for the club’s lackluster performance.

Ailing Hawk to start

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Fukuoka Softbank Hawks right-hander Kazumi Saito, who failed to make the Opening Day roster due to a painful shoulder, will likely make his first start of the season this week, manager Sadaharu Oh said Monday.