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Updated: October 18, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Marines beat Golden Eagles in Game 3 Japanese Play-Offs
SENDAI (Japan) - Chiba Lotte Marines won 4-2 in ten innings on Friday-evening (October 18) to hand Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles its first loss in the best-of-seven Final of the Pacific Central Climax Series. The Golden Eagles began the series with an one-win advantage for being the regular season-winner in the Pacific League and are now leading 2-1. Game 4 will be played on Saturday to be followed by Game 5 on Sunday. All games are played in Kleenex Stadium in Sendai, the home of the Golden Eagles.

The game was scoreless for six innings. In that period, the Marines reached base only twice. In the second inning, Toshiaki Imae led off with a single and in the fifth inning Katsuya Kakunaka did the same, but both runners stranded on second base.

The Golden Eagles reached base four times in the first six at bats. In the first inning, Takero Okajima led off with a single. He then advanced to third base on two consecutive sacrifice bunts, but the inning ended when Andruw Jones lined out. In the fourth at bat, Kazuya Fujita led off with a single, then Jones singled with one out, but they also were left behind. In the sixth, Okajima again led off with a single and moved on another sac-bunt, but once more, he was left behind.

Takahiro Norimoto, the starting pitcher for the Golden Eagles, struckout eleven batters in nine innings. After throwing six scoreless innings, he gave up a run to the Marines in the seventh at bat. Tadahito Iguchi led off with a single, advanced on a single by Toshiaki Imae, then scored on an one-out grounder by pinch-hitter Craig Brazell.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Golden Eagles tied the score to force extra innings. With one out, Andruw Jones homered to make it 1-1. Next batter Casey McGehee then singled, but a double play ended the inning.

In the top of the tenth inning, the Marines struck with three runs off of four pitchers. Norihito Kaneto took over the pitching for Norimoto, but was greeted with a lead-off homerun by Craig Brazell. When Daichi Suzuki followed with a single, a new pitcher was brought in. Shinichiro Koyama gave up a single to Ikuhiro Kiyota, then saw the runners advance on a sacrifice bunt by Tomoya Satozaki. Kohei Hasebe then became the third pitcher in the inning. He faced Shunichi Nemoto and the second baseman of the Marines connected for a 2-run single that made it 4-1. Kenny Ray then took over the pitching and retired the next two batters.

In the bottom half of the 10th inning, the Golden Eagles managed to get one run back when Ryo Hijirisawa homered with two outs.

(October 18)

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