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Veteran slugger Takeshi Yamasaki became the first Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles player to win a monthly MVP award when the Pacific League named him the best position player for the month of May on Tuesday.

Yamasaki won the monthly honor for the second time in his career and first since June 1996, when he was with the Chunichi Dragons of the Central League, after leading the league with 12 homers and 27 RBIs in May. The 38-year-old first baseman/designated hitter had league-leading 21 homers and 49 RBIs this season before Tuesday’s games.

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks lefty Toshiya Sugiuchi also received the PL monthly honor after going 5-0 in five starts with a 0.89 ERA in May.

The Central League selected Chunichi duo Tyrone Woods and Takashi Ogasawara for its monthly MVP awards. Woods had league highs of 11 homers and 29 RBIs in May, while Ogasawara notched a league-high four wins.

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