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Marines rout Dragons, take Series lead to Nagoya

by Jim Allen (Nov 4, 2010)

Hayden Penn made the most of his Japan Series debut on Thursday night at Chiba Marine Stadium.

Penn allowed two runs on five hits over 5-1/3 innings as the Chiba Lotte Marines demolished the Chunichi Dragons 10-4 in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead to Nagoya for the final two games.

The right-hander, who was acquired on July 22 and went 1-3 during the regular season, struck out three and walked two in an 84-pitch effort.

Toshiaki Imae brought the Marines back from an early deficit with a two-run double off right-hander Kenichi Nakata in the first inning.

Nakata gave up four runs in the first and stayed on the mound for five innings, during which he allowed nine runs--eight earned--on 13 hits and a walk.

Dragons No. 5 hitter Tony Blanco drove in three late runs, including two with his second homer of the Series, but it was too little, too late to make a difference.

The Dragons broke the ice early. A one-out, first-inning walk and a Masahiko Morino double set the stage for a sacrifice fly by Kazuhiro Wada.

In a Series that has seen mostly blowouts, any hope of a second straight close game evaporated quickly in the chilly Chiba evening.

An error by Naomichi Donoue, starting at second in place of veteran Hirokazu Ibata, gave the Marines a leadoff runner against Nakata, who was soon missing frequently up in the zone.

Nakata struck out the next batter, but surrendered five straight hits. Tadahito Iguchi and Saburo Omura singled to load the bases, and Imae seized the lead for the Marines.

"Right off the bat, there are runners in scoring position and I just wanted to advance them," Imae said. "I figured I needed at least a sacrifice fly. I planned to take a full swing at the first pitch, and things turned out really well."

Kazuya Fukuura and Kim Tae Kyun followed, each singling in a run. Kim went 4-for-4 and also scored a run.

Omura made it 6-1 in the fourth with a two-run homer. Nishioka led off with a single and Nakata hung an 0-2 forkball to Omura, who belted it into the left-field stands.

"It's been a while since I hit a ball on the screws like that," Omura said.

Kim, who had the first of three one-out singles in the fifth, scored on a sacrifice fly by Nishioka. Both trailing runners advanced on the fly, and Ikuhiro Kiyota singled both home to make it 9-1.

Blanco doubled in a run for the Dragons in the sixth and, with runners on second and third and no outs, the Marines went to the bullpen. Southpaw Takuya Furuya ended the threat on two straight popups.

In the seventh, Kim's fourth hit helped set the Marines up for their 10th run. Hisao Heiuchi, running for Kim, went from second to third on a flyout and scored on a wild pitch by Akifumi Shimizu.

After Yasuhiko Yabuta pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for Lotte, the Dragons got two runs in the eighth against lefty Yuji Yoshimi, with both runs scoring on Blanco's two-run shot.

Pitching with a six-run lead, Lotte closer Hiroyuki Kobayashi walked pinch-hitter Takahiro Donoue and allowed a one-out single to his brother Naomichi, but allowed no runs to close it out.


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