SAPPORO – Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters right-hander Shohei Otani registered a 160 kph fastball for his fastest ever as a pro during the Fighters’ 6-2 win over the Hiroshima Carp on Wednesday.
Otani reached the mark on his fifth pitch with two outs in the first inning while facing Yoshihiro Maru, who struck out swinging on the pitch at Sapporo Dome. Otani’s fastest previous mark in pro baseball was 158 kph.
The fastest pitch ever thrown by a Japanese pitcher is 161 kph by the Yakult Swallows’ Yoshinori Sato. Marc Kroon, who played for the Yokohama BayStars and the Yomiuri Giants, owns the Japanese baseball record of 162 kph.
Otani, who also plays in right field and is batting .283 in 34 games, marked a 160-kph fastball when he pitched for Hanamaki Higashi High School.
He yielded one run and struck out 10 over five sharp innings on Wednesday as and Nippon Ham strung together five timely hits to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the fifth en route to beating Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda (5-4), who allowed a season-worst five runs.
Hawks rout Giants
Fukuoka — Akira Nakamura hit a bases-loaded two-run single to rally his team in the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks’ 13-5 romp over the Yomiuri Giants on Wednesday night.
Softbank banged out 17 hits in front of a crowd of 35,490 at Yafuoku Dome. The Giants, who were missing scheduled starter Tetsuya Utsumi due to discomfort in his left-hander’s shoulder, allowed a season-worst 13 runs.
The Hawks took a 2-0 lead on Lee Dae-ho’s two-run homer in the first before Fuminori Yokogawa hit a bases-clearing double with the bases loaded in the top of the second to put Yomiuri ahead. Softbank retook the lead on Nakamura’s second-inning single and Yuki Yanagita added an RBI single for a 5-3 lead in the frame.
Tadashi Settsu (4-2) yielded four runs and five hits in five innings and got his first win since May 2. Reliever Satoshi Fukuda (0-1) was charged with six runs in 2⅔-innings of the loss.
Swallows 2, Buffaloes 1
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Swallows lefty Masanori Ishikawa (3-4) came within one out of his second complete game of the season and delivered a decisive fifth-inning suicide squeeze in a win over Orix. Takahiro Okada had a tying leadoff homer for the Buffaloes in the third.
Tigers 9, Eagles 1
At Sendai’s Kobo Stadium Miyagi, Shintaro Fujinami (4-3) got off to a rocky start but rebounded to pitch one-run ball over seven innings in Hanshin’s rout of Tohoku Rakuten. The Tigers scored three runs in the second to overturn a 1-0 deficit and piled on four in the third.
Lions 1, BayStars 0
At Saitama’s Seibu Dome, Fumikazu Kimura hit a one-out solo homer in the sixth inning and Kazuhisa Makita (3-4) set the pace through seven shutout framess to win his first decision since April 29 in a blanking of Yokohama. Daisuke Miura (0-3) was tagged for the loss.
Marines 9, Dragons 6
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Lotte overcame a 5-3 deficit and tied it on Chad Huffman’s fifth-inning RBI single before the left fielder added a go-ahead double in a four-run eighth to lift Lotte past Chunichi.