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Wednesday, 13th April 2011
In Sports, Japan Sports News,

Golden Eagles win to cheer Tohoku sports fans

Sports-loving residents of the earthquake stricken Tohoku region may finally have something to smile about, as the local baseball team got their new season off to a great start.

The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles came from behind to beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 6-4 last night (April 12th), with Motohiro Shima hitting a tie-breaking three-run homer in the seventh inning, Japan Times reported.

Star pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma said: "It feels like our first-ever game as Rakuten in terms of everyone coming together and getting a victory. The cheers of the fans certainly gave us a boost."

The match was preceded by a moment's silence for the victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, before Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai welcomed the visiting team.

Play was stopped briefly in the fourth inning as the effects of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures were felt at the ground.

Written by Mark Smith