In his first start since being activated from the disabled list, Rick van den Hurk was as sharp as usual.
In six innings, the tall Dutchman threw ninety-one pitches, faced twenty-five hitters, walked one, struck out seven and allowed two runs on six hits.
Even though the lowly Orix Buffaloes scored two runs with Rick on the mound, the victory never was endangered. The Softbank Hawks scored three runs in the first inning, one run in the fourth, two runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth.
Despite Rick’s return and good performance, he may not get the most attention today. That honor will be for the Hawks’ second baseman Yuichi Honda, who made this terrific play.
Eventually the team from Fukuoka won by eight runs to five as the Buffaloes scored three more runs in the top of the ninth as they hit a solo homerun and a two run homerun off relief pitcher Tadato Mori.
Rick van den Hurk is now 7-1 in eleven starts with an ERA of 3.37. Rick struck out sixty-four and walked thirteen.