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Tadashi Settsu pitched out of early trouble to go seven innings on Thursday as the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks defeated the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 7-2 to remain alive in their bid for their fifth interleague title.

Settsu (5-2) allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out six. The right-hander pitched out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the first, and put two on in the second after two were out, but had little trouble after that before a crowd of 19,560 at Jingu Stadium.

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