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Kida, Carp sink Marines

by Jim Allen (Jun 11, 2009)

Go Kida cashed in Hiroshima's big chance of the game, and the pitching and defense did the rest on Wednesday.

Kida, who has struggled to find regular playing time since being traded to the Carp in 2007, hit safely for the sixth straight game when he singled in two runs in the first inning of a 2-0 interleague win over the Chiba Lotte Marines at Chiba Marine Stadium.

"He can hit. He's always been able to hit," manager Marty Brown said. "He's hit in the minor leagues, everywhere he's had a chance. His only trouble has been finding a position."

Employed as designated hitter, Kida's two-out, bases-loaded single plated the game's only runs.

Carp starter Colby Lewis (4-2) pitched six innings and kept the Marines off the board by hook and by crook. The right-hander struck out 10 batters for the second straight game, matching his season high. Lewis allowed six hits and two walks, while hitting two. One runner was caught stealing and Lewis stranded nine.

"In the fourth, I said, 'Why can't I have a 1-2-3 inning?'" Lewis said, and his defense obliged.

Golden Glove first baseman Kenta Kurihara made a tough catch on a wind-blown foul for the first out of the fifth, and Lewis struck out the next two. With two outs in the sixth, center fielder Masato Akamatsu put on the jets to haul down a drive at the warning track for the final out.

"The defense was good, but don't eliminate the pitching," said Brown, who got three shutout innings from his bullpen.

Ryuji Yokoyama walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the inning but made up for it by picking the runner off first and striking out the next two.

Mike Schultz pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, but closer Katsuhiro Nagakawa had to pitch out of trouble after allowing back-to-back singles in the ninth. The big right-hander gunned down the lead runner on an attempted sacrifice. Two catchable balls later and the game ended in Nagakawa's 19th save.

Kida, who struggled with breaking balls when he joined the Carp two years ago, looped a first- pitch curve from the submariner into right to drive in two. He also singled with a man on and one out in the sixth, but Watanabe pitched out of that.

"He sees them [offspeed pitches] well--when he plays everyday," Brown said of his sometime outfielder, sometime third baseman.

"If you ask him, he'll tell you he can hit. That's what I like about him."


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