• August 12, 2023

Maki Yokohama hits 20 home runs for third straight year, ‘6th all-time Japanese record’

Shugo Maki (25) of the Yokohama DeNA Basestars has hit 20 home runs for the third consecutive year in his debut. He is the sixth player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to do so.

Maki started at second base four times against the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday.

He struck out in his first at-bat in the second inning and again in his second at-bat in the fifth. Trailing 0-3 with one out in the seventh inning, he took a first-pitch forkball (138 mph) for a solo home run over the left field fence. It was the first run of the game off Yomiuri starter Yamazaki, who had pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

It gave Maki his 20th home run of the season. It’s the third straight year he’s reached the 20-homer mark.

In his rookie year in 2021, Maki played in 137 games, batting .301 with 22 home runs, 71 RBIs and an OPS of .890. Last year, in 135 games, he batted .291 with 24 homers, 87 RBIs and an OPS of .861, marking the second straight year he hit 20 homers.

According to Japanese media, only five players in Nippon Professional Baseball have accomplished the feat of hitting 20 home runs in three consecutive years from their rookie year: Kiyohara (Seibu to Giants) 1986-98, Hara (Giants) 1981-92, Arito (Lotte) 1969-76, Ishii (Kintetsu) 1990-94, and Mori (Junichi) 1958-60. Maki became the sixth player to do so.

After his home run, Maki said, “I was able to grasp the changeup well. I didn’t hit it in my previous at-bat, so I tried to hit it aggressively.”

Maki hit a come-from-behind two-run home run (No. 19) with one out in the top of the ninth inning against Yomiuri on Nov. 11, trailing 1-2. Home run in two straight games. 메이저사이트

It was Maki’s 73rd of the season, moving him into sole possession of first place in the RBI category, ahead of Kazuma Okamoto (Yomiuri, 72). He is third in home runs behind Okamoto (31) and Munetaka Murakami (Yakult, 22).

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