• Kyodo News


Tokyo Yakult Swallows outfielder Norichika Aoki and Chiba Lotte Marines shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka were named the monthly MVPs for September on Tuesday.

Aoki, who on Sept. 26 became the first player in Japanese baseball history to have a second 200-hit season, recorded at least one hit in all 22 games and had a CL-leading .420 batting average.

Aoki won a close race against Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton, who hit a second-best .412, the Central League said.

Hanshin left-hander Atsushi Nomi was named the MVP in the category for pitchers.

Nomi notched one win against the Chunichi Dragons and two wins against the Yomiuri Giants during the month in a three-team CL title race, eventually won by Chunichi. He posted a 1.29 ERA, striking out 30 in 28 innings.

Nishioka led the Pacific League in several offensive categories, including batting average (.467), hits (43) and stolen bases (eight).

He is one of the three players who have reached the 200-hit mark this year, along with Aoki and Murton.

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Brian Wolfe was selected as the best-performing pitcher in the PL after going 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in five games, four of which were starts.

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