KKKKKK’ 8 scoreless innings perfect pitching, 12 consecutive wins → 16 wins…Japan’s No. 1 overall multiple wins, beating ‘four-time champion’ pitchers

Pitcher Katsuki Azuma (27) of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball has recorded his 16th win of the season. His 12-game winning streak continues.

Azuma started the game against the Yomiuri Giants on June 26 at Yokohama Stadium in Japan and pitched eight innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts and six walks. He led Yokohama to a 1-0 victory.

Azuma has won 12 straight games without a loss since June 1 against Rakuten. It ties the franchise record for most consecutive wins set by Ichihiko Endo in 1983.

In 23 games this season, Azuma is 16-2 with a 2.03 ERA. He has three complete games and two shutouts. His .889 winning percentage ties the Central League all-time record for wins (16-2, .889) set by Horiuchi (Yomiuri) in 1966.

The 16 wins overtook Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix, 15) as the Pacific League leader in wins, ERA, strikeouts, and winning percentage.메이저사이트

It was an important game for Yokohama and Yomiuri in the battle for the third and final postseason spot. Azuma struck out three in the first inning.

In the second inning, he was in trouble. After giving up a leadoff walk, he gave up back-to-back singles to Hiroaki Yuto and Brinson to load the bases. He struck out Naoki Yoshikawa on a 145-mph fastball and Iori Yamasaki on a 148-mph fastball to get out of the jam.

The third inning was also close. After a leadoff walk, Makoto Kadoki and Hayato Sakamoto gave up back-to-back singles. With runners on first and second, he got Kazuma Okamoto, the home run leader, to fly out to shortstop and Takumi Oshiro to fly out to left field.

After getting out of two jams, Azuma struck out the side in the fourth and was hit by a pitch to Yamasaki in the fifth, but got Nos. 1-3 on a grounder to second, a grounder to the pitcher and a fly out to center field.

In the sixth, he struck out two to end the inning, and in the seventh, he extended his hitting streak to nine batters with a strikeout and two infield grounders. In the eighth, he retired the top three batters in the order with a strikeout.

Yokohama took the lead in the third inning on Daishi Ota’s two-run double to left field, making it 1-0. Wendelken came on in the ninth and got back-to-back strikeouts with runners on first and second to end the game.

With the win, third-place Yokohama takes the series against fourth-place Yomiuri and needs just one more draw in its remaining five games to punch its ticket to the climactic series regardless of the Yomiuri result.


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