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NPB news: Aug. 2, 2022

Munetaka Murakami’s home run rampage came to an end on Tuesday, but not before he set a record, and moved within four of tying Kazuhiro Kiyohara for the most home runs by a 22-year-old, while the Yomiuri Giants came back from quarantine after 12 days off and six canceled games.

The Lotte Marines made Tuesday Roki Eve, by announcing Roki Sasaki as their starting pitcher for Wednesday’s game against the Rakuten Eagles. It will be his first real game since July 1, when he struck out 10 over four innings but left after breaking a blister on his pitching hand. He threw some fast but straight fastballs in All-Star Game 2, last Wednesday, but all-star games aren’t real games.

It will be Sasaki’s second straight start against Rakuten, but instead of facing Masahiro Tanaka again, the game will be contrast of opposites, against the softest tossing Eagles starter, Wataru Karashima who rarely strikes out anyone.

Tuesday’s games

Swallows 5, Dragons 0: At Jingu Stadium, Tetsuto Yamada and Murakami went deep back-to-back in the first inning. Murakami, who finished Sunday’s game by homering in his final three at-bats, said he dreamed of hitting a home run and figured he might make it four straight.

“If I got a fat one, I wanted to put a good swing on it,” Murakami said. “I got one and I did.”

Continue reading NPB news: Aug. 2, 2022