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Watanabe, Marines shut down Dragons

by Jim Allen (Nov 2, 2010)

Submarine right-hander Shunsuke Watanabe pounded the zone for nine innings on Tuesday night as the Marines took a one-game Japan Series lead.

Watanabe allowed five hits in the Chiba Lotte Marines' 7-1 victory over the Central League champion Chunichi Dragons in Game 3 at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Lotte's Saburo Omura tied the game 1-1 with an RBI single in the bottom of the third, and rookie Ikuhiro Kiyota blew the Dragons out of the park in the fourth with a two-out, three-run triple.

Tadahito Iguchi doubled home Kiyota to make it 5-1 and knock right-hander Daisuke Yamai out of the game.

Yamai, who threw eight perfect innings in his last Series appearance, the 2007 clincher over Nippon Ham, allowed eight hits and two walks. He struck out two.

The Marines, who needed to win three straight games here to finish out the season in third place and reach the playoffs, returned for their first home game of the postseason. The Marines and Dragons split the first two games of the series at Nagoya Dome.

"The support of our fans is always our great strength," Marines manager Norifumi Nishimura said.

"Although Watanabe surrendered the first run, he was very poised on the mound throughout."

Watanabe struck out five and walked none.

The Dragons' lone run came in the top of the third inning. Motonobu Tanishige opened with a single and scored from third on a sacrifice fly that left fielder Kiyota made a strong play on to record the out.

"Kiyota has been the man for us, so I was counting on him," Watanabe said.

On a cool night before 26,923, the Marines tacked on a pair of runs in the seventh on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Toshiaki Imae and Kazuya Fukuura.


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