Baseball: Hawks beat Marines 5-1 to widen Pacific League lead

The SoftBank Hawks bounced back from a series-opening loss to the Lotte Marines with a 5-1 win over their closest Pacific League rivals on Saturday behind eight dominant innings from Nao Higashihama.Higashihama (7-1) faced the minimum of 14 batters through 3-2/3 innings at PayPay Dome before yielding his first hit in the fifth. The right-hander surrendered three hits and held the Marines to a run while striking out eight.Nobuhiro Matsuda, Ryoya Kurihara, Yuki Yanagita and Yurisbel Gracial provided SoftBank’s run support. The Hawks, who had had lost their previous three decisions, improved to 5…

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