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Updated: October 12, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Carp, Marines open Japanese Play-Offs with victories
NISHINOMIYA / TOKOROZAWA (Japan) - Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Chiba Lotte Marines opened the best-of-three First Round of the Play-Offs in Nippon Professional Baseball with a big victory on Saturday-afternoon (October 12). Hiroshima won 8-1 vs. Hanshin Tigers in the Central League Climax Series, while the Marines won 11-1 vs. Saitama Seibu Lions in the opener of the Pacific League Climax Series. In both series, it was the visiting team that won today.

The winners of these Play-Offs advance to the Second Round and then will meet the teams that ended the regular season in first place. In the Central League, Yomiuri Giants finished in first place and in the Pacific League, the title went to Tohuku Rokuten Golden Eagles, the team of Dutch outfielder Andruw Jones.

Hanshin Tigers vs. Hiroshima Toyo Carp
At Nishinomiya, Hiroshima Toyo Carp collected 13 basehits in the opener of the Central League-series vs. Hanshin Tigers, which was played in Koshien Stadium and was attended by almost 47.000 spectators. Hiroshima last won the Japan Series in 1984, while Hanshin won its last championhip in 1985.

Hiroshima broke an 1-1 tie with a 3-run fifth inning, then added four more runs in the ninth at bat.

In the fourth inning, Hiroshima opened the score. Singles by Eishin Soyogi, Kila Ka'aihue and Ryuhei Matsuyama then led to the first run.

Hanshin came alongside in the bottom of the fourth when Ryota Imanari singled in a run.

Hiroshima re-took the lead in fifth inning. Pitcher Kenta Maeda led off with a single, then Ryosuke Kikuchi singled with one out. With two outs, Kila Ka'aihue homered to make it 4-1. Ka'aihue joined the team in June of this year, after being released by Arizona Diamondbacks. There, he played for the Triple-A team of the Dbacks and led the league in homeruns. The American first baseman, who comes from Hawaii, played in the Major League for Kansas City Royals (2008, 2010-2011) and Oakland Athletics (2012).

After three scoreless innings, Hiroshima added four runs in the ninth inning. Yoshihiro Maru led off with a homerun, then Eisin Soyogi reached when his fly was missed in the outfield with one out. Next, Ka'aihue walked and Takahiro Iwamoto followed with a homerun that lifted the lead to 8-1.

Ryosuke Kikuchi and Kila Ka'aihue both had three basehits for Hiroshima, while Hanshin hit only five basehits in the entire game.

Saitama Seibu Lions vs. Chiba Lotte Marines
At Tokorozawa, north of Tokyo, the Marines opened the Pacific League-series with a big 11-1 win and collected a record-setting total of 16 basehits. The Marines hit seven basehits. Almost 33.000 spectators attended the opener, which was played at the Seibu Dome. Both teams captured a Japanese title in recent years, Chiba in 2010 and Seibu in 2008.

The Marines took charge of the game early and led 4-0 after four innings. In the first at bat, Tadahito Iguchi homered with two outs, then two runs were added in the third at bat. Tomoya Satozaki then led off with a double, moved on an one-out single by Yoshifumi Okada and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tadahito Iguchi. A following single by Toshiaki Imae made it 3-0. In the fourth inning, Saburo Omura led off with a homerun.

Another run was added in the fifth inning when Okada doubled with one out and scored on a single by Iguchi.

The Lions then scored its lone run in the home of the fifth when Takeya Nakamura led off with a homerun, but that was it for the home team.

The Marines got the run back in the next inning when Omura walked and scored on a 2-out double by Satozaki.

In the eighth inning, the Marines increased its lead with a 5-run rally. After Daichi Suzuki led off with a double, Tomoya Satozaki was hit by a pitch, then Shunichi Nemoto followed with a 2-run triple. With two outs, Toshiaki Imae walked and Shohei Kato homered to lift the lead to 11-1.

(October 12)

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Copyright © 1997-2013 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.