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The Hanshin Tigers and Chiba Lotte Marines will face each either in a rematch of their Japan Series showdown last month when interleague play opens its second-year schedule on May 9 next year.

According to the 2006 interleague schedule released Monday by the Central and Pacific leagues, Hanshin will host Japan Series champion Lotte at Koshien Stadium in one of the six matchups on the first day.

Next year’s interleague action will feature the same format as this past season when it was introduced to Japanese baseball for the first time.

Each team will play the same opponent six times, three at home and three away, for a total of 36 games per team and 216 games overall between May 9 and June 18.

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