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Updated: October 29, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Golden Eagles take lead in Japan Series
TOKYO (Japan) - Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Japan Series on Tuesday-evening (October 29) by registering a convincing 5-1 win vs. Yomiuri Giants in Game 3 at the Tokyo Dome, which was attended by almost 45,000 spectators. Andruw Jones contributed with an RBI-single. Game 4 will be played on Wednesday.

Before the game, wellknown soprano Sara Kobayashi sang the National Anthem. She played in big operas as Turandot, Figaro, Die Fledermaus and La Traviata, but also performed internationally in Sofia, Vienna and Brazil.

Gymnast Kenzo Shirai threw out the ceremonial first pitch. In September, the 17-year old Shirai captured the Gold Medal on the World Artistic Gymnastisc Championships in Antwerp (Belgium). There, he became the first gymnast in history to perfom a quadruple twist at a major event.

The Golden Eagles hit nine basehits in each of the first two games, but the run-production was limited to two. The team was shutout in the opener, then won 2-1 in Game 2. But tonight, the from Sendai struck in the second inning off of starter Toshiya Sugiuchi, scoring four runs on two back-to-back doubles.

The inning began with a lead-off single by Akihisa Makida, but he was eliminated moments later. Kazuo Matsui also reached on a single, then Motohiro Shima walked. After a strikeout, Takero Okajima was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. Kazuya Fujita and Ginji Akaminai then followed with back-to-back 2-run doubles to give the Eagles an early 4-0 lead. Andruw Jones then walked, which led to a pitching change. Yuki Koyama took over for Sugiuchi, but he walked Casey McGehee, which reloaded the bases. But Koyama then struckout Makida, tenth batter in the inning, to end the at bat.

Koyama then held the Eagles scoreless in the next three innings, giving up only two singles. In these three at bats, the Eagles left two runners in scoring position. Nobutaka Imamura then added two scoreless innings, before Takahiro Aoki pitched the final two at bats for the Giants. But the latter gave up an additional run in the eighth inning. With one out, he gave up singles to Kazuya Fujita and Ginji Akaminai (who was 3-for-5), then Andruw Jones followed with the third basehit in a row to produce the fifth run for the Golden Eagles and make it 5-0. Jones, who is primarily used as designated hitter, played in leftfield tonight, as their is no DH-rule in the Central League, where the Giants play.

Manabu Mima started for the Golden Eagles and gave up only four basehits in 5 2/3 inning, while striking out five batters. In the sixth inning, with two outs, he was hit on his left foot by a comeback line drive by Shinnosuke Abe and had to leave the game. Kenny Ray took over and ended the at bat, then retired the side in the seventh. In the eighth inning, Ray gave up a lead-off homerun to Kenji Yano that made it 5-1, but that was to be the lone run the Giants would score tonight. Takashi Saito then retired the side in the ninth to close the game.

The Eagles collected 13 basehits tonight with all starting players hitting at least one.

(October 29)

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