• Kyodo


Marquee rookie Yuki Matsui overcame a shaky first inning and a seventh-inning crisis to earn his first win as a starter on Wednesday as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 7-4 and snapped the Pacific League leaders’ win streak at nine games.

In a duel between rookie lefties, the 18-year-old Matsui (2-5) allowed two runs in seven innings and snapped Rakuten’s losing streak at six games. He gave up four hits and three walks, while striking out a career-high nine and hitting a batter. Matsui had a near miss in the first inning. After a bloop leadoff single and a one-out walk, Lee Dae-ho golfed a low fastball to the warning track, but Matsui was soon cruising and didn’t give up another hit until the seventh.

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