FUKUOKA – Tokyo Yakult Swallows slugger Wladimir Balentien became the 18th player in Japanese baseball history to homer in four consecutive at-bats with a two-run drive in the first inning of a game against the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks at Yafuoku Dome on Wednesday. The Swallows would go on to lose 7-3.
Balentien, 28, is the first to homer in four consecutive at-bats since Atsuya Furuta achieved the feat in 2003. The record has been accomplished a total of 19 times.
Balentien homered in the ninth inning starting in game against the Nippon Ham Fighters on Saturday and homered in three straight at-bats, in between a pair of walks, over the course of three games, featuring his 20th homer, a blast to deep center off Kazuyuki Hoashi in his first at-bat on Wednesday.
He had a chance to homer in five consecutive at-bats for a new Japanese record but singled to left in his second turn at the plate the same day. Balentien has won the Central League home run title for two consecutive years since joining Yakult in 2011.
Lions 10, Dragons 0
At Saitama’s Seibu Dome, Yusei Kikuchi took a no-hit bid into the ninth inning and got plenty of firepower from his supporting cast as Seibu routed the Chunichi Dragons in a 10-0 whitewash.
Takumi Kuriyama, Hideto Asamura and Ryan Spilborghs each homered in a five-run sixth, leading the way as the Lions snapped a five-game losing streak.
Kikuchi (7-2) allowed just one single and walked one while striking out eight in a 138-pitch outing. It was the lefty’s third shutout of the season. Shohei Oshima broke up Kikuchi’s no-hit bid with a one-out single in the ninth.
Seibu got on the board with a suicide squeeze in the third, and Kuriyama and Asamura added back-to-back solo drives before Spilborghs put the icing on the cake with a three-run blast in the sixth — all off Bradley Bergesen (2-2). The Lions pulled away with a four-run eighth, featuring Shogo Akiyama’s two-run triple.
Tigers 6, Fighters 1
At Sapporo Dome, Matt Murton had a three-run drive for his second home run in as many games in support of Jason Standridge, who went seven innings on one-run ball as Hanshin romped past Hokkaido Nippon Ham to its fifth straight win.
Takashi Toritani opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first and after Murton’s drive off Mitsuo Yoshikawa (5-5) in the third, and Takahiro Arai added an RBI double in the fifth. Hanshin secured a majority of wins in interleague play for the first time in five years. Standridge (4-5) won his first decision since May 7.
BayStars 3, Marines 0
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Daisuke Miura scattered four hits in his first shutout of the season as Yokohama snapped a five-game losing skid with a blanking of PL leader Chiba Lotte, which has lost four in a row for the first time this year.
Miura (4-5) struck out four and walked two in a 121-pitch outing. Nyjer Morgan had an RBI single to open the scoring in the fifth and Hitoshi Tamura contributed with a run-scoring double in a two-run seventh. Yuji Nishino (6-2) was tagged with the loss.
Giants 7, Buffaloes 1
Carp 4, Eagles 3