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Hawks cheered by win after Oh’s surgery

Kyodo

Takeshi Tsuji hit a two-run double and the Softbank Hawks sent 12 batters to the plate for an eight-run explosion in the eighth inning to rally over the Seibu Lions for a 9-5 victory in the Pacific League on Tuesday.

News photo Lions’ Kazuki Fukuchi slides into home plate on a Nagisa Arakaki wild pitch
to score a go-ahead run in the sixth against Fukuoka Softbank at Yahoo Dome.
The Hawks defeated Seibu 9-5.
KYODO PHOTO

The triumph was cause for a big celebration for Softbank, coming on the same day that Fukuoka manager Sadaharu Oh underwent a successful operation at a Tokyo hospital to remove his stomach after he was diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer.

After falling behind 5-1 through the sixth, Softbank had three consecutive hits to load the bases with none out in the big inning and Nobuhiko Matsunaka hit an RBI single followed by a Mitsuru Honma bases-loaded walk and Tsuji’s double at Yahoo Dome.

Seibu starter Hideaki Wakui was solid until self-destructing in the eighth and was charged with five runs — four unearned — in seven-plus innings, missing out on notching double-digit wins. Rookie Yoshiaki Fujioka (4-2) got the win in relief after starter Nagisa Arakaki was tagged for five runs in six innings.

Fighters 5, Buffaloes 4

At Sapporo Dome, Kensuke Tanaka hit a game-tying solo blast in the eighth inning and Tsuyoshi Shinjo followed with a go-ahead double down the left-field line with two outs in the same frame, lifting Hokkaido Nippon Ham past Orix.

Designated hitter Hirotoshi Kitagawa drove in the first two runs on a groundout to third. He also had two sacrifice flies for the Fighters in the first and third, respectively.

Mitsutaka Goto and Norihiro Nakamura each added solo home runs to give Orix a 4-1 lead, but Hokkaido Nippon Ham cut the deficit with consecutive RBI grounders from Atsunori Inaba and Shinjo before Tanaka’s shot tied the game at 4-4.

Hideki Okajima pitched a scoreless eighth for his second win and closer Michael Nakamura struck out two in the ninth for his 23rd save.

Eagles at Marines — ppd.

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Giants at Tigers — pdd.

Dragons at BayStars — ppd.

Carp at Swallows — pdd.