‘KKKKKKKKKKKKK’ 10-game winning streak to 14 wins for the season, clinching the batting title…first lefty in franchise history to win 10 straight games
Pitcher Katsuki Azuma (27) of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball has recorded his 14th win of the season. He became the first left-handed pitcher in franchise history to win 10 straight games.
Azuma started the game against the Junichi Dragons on Thursday at Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, and threw 106 pitches in 8 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits (two home runs), 10 strikeouts, and three runs to earn the win. It was his 14th win of the season, tied for the most in both leagues with Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix).
Azuma was hit in the right foot by a foul ball in the second inning of the game, but battled back to complete the game. He struck out three times, but hit a two-run double with runners on second and third in the bottom of the eighth.
Azuma is 14-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 21 appearances this season. He is a favorite to win the Central League. He’s four games ahead of the second-place group (10 wins, six players), and he has the best winning percentage (.875) and is within striking distance of a second place finish.
The win also extended Azuma’s winning streak to 10 games. This is the longest streak by a left-hander in Yokohama franchise history, surpassing Hiroki Nomura’s nine-game streak in 1993.
It is also the third double-digit win streak in franchise history, following Endo’s 12-game streak in 1983 and Shimada’s 10-game streak in 1968. “It’s great to be part of the club’s record books,” said Azuma. I’d like to aim for even higher,” said Azuma.
Azuma got out of the first inning with two infield grounders and a swinging strikeout. In the second inning, she gave up a leadoff single but got a fly ball to right field and a swinging strikeout to end the inning. He retired the side in order in the third and fourth innings.
With a 1-0 lead in the fifth, he gave up a game-tying solo home run to Vicciard over the left field fence. He was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.
In the sixth, he got out of a jam with runners at first and second on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice. He retired the side in order in the seventh and the eighth.
With one out in the top of the ninth, he gave up a double to Ishikawa and his second home run of the day to Vicciard. He was removed with the score 8-3.
Yokohama scored eight runs on 11 hits, including two homers (solo, solo) by Shugo Maki and two homers (two-run, two-run) by foreign hitter Soto. Leading 3-1 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Maki’s solo home run, Soto’s two-run homer, and Azuma’s RBI double capped the five-run outburst.
“I was always trying to make sure to throw my first-pitch strikes, even with runners on base, even with runners in scoring position, so I was able to keep them to a minimum until the eighth inning,” Azuma said after the game. 메이저놀이터
According to Junichi Sports, Azuma thanked Yamamoto several times in his postgame interview, saying, “How many times I thought, ‘I want to throw this pitch, I want to throw this pitch after this pitch,’ and it was nice to get that sign,” and “This win is for Yamamoto, who celebrated his 25th birthday (on the 11th). I want to wear the same tie and win the best battery award together.”