Marines re-take lead in Japan Series
CHIBA (Japan) -
The Chiba Lotte Marines re-took the lead in the Japan Series in Tuesday, winning 7-1 vs. the Chunichi Dragons at Chiba Marine Stadium.
For the Marines, this was their first home game in a month.
In the regular season, in the Pacific League, the Marines finished in third place.
The team in first place qualifies for the second round of the Play-Offs, the numbers two and three will meet in the first round, with the winner moving on to the second round.
The winner of the second round will then continue to the Japan Series.
According to the rules, the team that finishes in third place will play the entire first round on the road and also the second round when they advance.
And that happened to the Marines.
In their first home game, submarine-pitcher Shunsuke Watanabe went the distance for the Marines and did a fine job.
The righthander needed only 97 pitches and struckout five batters.
But he gave up a run in the first inning, which would be the lone run for the Dragons.
Motonobu Tanishige led off with a single, advanced on a single by Yohei Oshima and scored on a sacrifice fly by Masahiro Araki.
The Marines came alongside in the third inning on a single by Saburo Omura, then took the lead in the fourth inning.
With the bases loaded, rookie Ikuhiro Kiyota hit a baseclearing triple to make it 3-1, then scored himself on a double by Tadahito Iguchi off starter Daisuke Yamai, who gave up eight hits in 3 2/3 inning.
The Marines added two runs in the seventh inning on sacrifice flies by Toshiaki Imae and Kazuya Fukuura.