Baseball: Hawks clinch 7th straight postseason berth

The SoftBank Hawks smashed the Seibu Lions 7-2 behind five solid innings from Kotaro Otake to clinch their seventh straight berth in the Pacific League’s postseason on Sunday.The three-time defending Japan Series champs, runners-up in the regular season the past two years, lowered their magic number to two to clinch the franchise’s 21st league championship.The game at PayPay Dome was over quickly. Otake (2-0) threw a 1-2-3 first and his teammates put two runs on the board in the home half with some help from Seibu’s defense.Speedster Ukyo Shuto singled, stole his Japan-best 45th base, and scor…

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