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Baseball: Jesse Biddle wins 1st NPB start behind 10-run Orix outburst

Jesse Biddle of the Orix Buffaloes pitches against the SoftBank Hawks in their Pacific League game at PayPay Dome in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, on Aug. 14, 2022. (Kyodo)

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Jesse Biddle threw five shutout innings to win his first Nippon Professional Baseball start as the Orix Buffaloes clobbered the SoftBank Hawks 10-2 in the Pacific League on Sunday.

    Biddle (4-4) allowed two hits but no runs in a 65-pitch effort at PayPay Dome. Immediately after being presented with a 7-0 lead, the lefty loaded the bases with two walks with one out in the fourth but retired the next two to keep the home team off the board.

    "It felt like nine innings, that's the most I've pitched in a very long time," said Biddle, who played for four big league clubs including the Atlanta Braves during his four MLB seasons through last year.

    "Pitching is a lot easier when you have a 10-run lead and a great defense behind you, so I just trusted my teammates to get the job done."

    Evergreen at the age of 41, Hawks starter Tsuyoshi Wada (3-4) allowed three singles in the first two innings without a run. But the former Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs lefty was dealt a heavy blow in the top of the fourth, starting with a one-out Yuma Mune single.

    On a hit-and-run, Kotaro Kurebayashi landed a double just inside the right foul line to plate the first run. Joe McCarthy's single put runners on the corners, while Tatsuya Yamaashi singled in the second run.

    Torai Fushimi's single loaded the bases before Shuhei Fukuda doubled to deep right to make it 4-0 and chase Wada, who surrendered six runs on nine hits over 3-1/3 innings.

    The visitors piled on the pressure as Keita Nakagawa singled in two runs off Hawks reliever Arata Shiino and Mune's two-out single drove in the final run of the inning.

    Shiino's struggle continued in the fifth: A two-run Fukuda double and an RBI double from Nakagawa -- who went 4-for-5 on the day -- made it 10-0.

    The win moved the third-place Buffaloes one game behind the second-place Hawks.

    In the Central League, the Yomiuri Giants, who started the day in a tie for third place with the Hanshin Tigers, beat the fifth-place Hiroshima Carp 3-2.

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