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Lotte infielders grab Golden Gloves

Four of the Chiba Lotte Marines’ infielders were named Golden Glove winners Tuesday after helping lift the Pacific-League club to its first Japan Series title in 31 years.

First baseman Kazuya Fukuura, second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka, third baseman Toshiaki Imae and shortstop Makoto Kosaka monopolized the award for PL infielders, solidifying a case for Lotte’s ironclad defense under the stewardship of manager Bobby Valentine.

Outfielder Saburo Omura also received the honor — giving Lotte five Golden Glove winners for its most in team history.

Seibu Lions right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka received his third straight Golden Glove and his sixth overall for the most in the Pacific League.

Softbank Hawks catcher Kenji Jojima won his seventh consecutive award — the most in either league — while Nippon Ham Fighters outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo was named for the second straight time.

It was Shinjo’s ninth career award after winning seven in the CL with the Hanshin Tigers.

In the Central League, Hanshin catcher Akihiro Yano, first baseman Andy Sheets and outfielder Norihiro Akahoshi won Golden Gloves for Hanshin.

Chunichi second baseman Masahiro Araki took the title for the second year in a row with a league-high 168 votes while shortstop Hirokazu Ibata and outfielder Kosuke Fukudome were also named among the winners for Chunichi.

Hiroshima Carp right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who claimed the league title with 15 wins, was a first-time recipient while there were no winners from the Yomiuri Giants for the second straight year.