The Tokyo Yakult Swallows’ pitchers were unlikely candidates to flirt with history, the good kind at least, when the season began March 27. Not when they were coming off a 2014 in which they posted the worst ERA in Japan among starters, relievers, and, unsurprisingly, overall as a team.

Yet from opening night through April 11, a span of 14 games, Swallows pitchers didn’t allow more than three runs in a single game. That’s an NPB record. Actually, the Birds gave up three runs just once, March 31, against the Hanshin Tigers. So for the last 10 games of that stretch, Yakult’s hurlers allowed just two or fewer runs in each game.

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