• Kyodo


Kyosuke Takagi threw one scoreless inning for the Yomiuri Giants’ third team on Wednesday in his first game since his one-year suspension for involvement in illegal gambling was lifted.

The 27-year-old, who is on a developmental contract, took the mound in the eighth inning against the Musashi Heat Bears of the independent Baseball Challenge League. He issued a walk but struck out two, hitting 143 kph with his fastest pitch at Giants Stadium.

“It was fulfilling, I have fatigue in a good way,” said Takagi after his first appearance since October 2015. “I was on the mound due to help from so many people and I only have gratitude toward them.

“In addition to being worked up, I felt many emotions going through me, and I was nervous. (But) I had decent battles with the batters.”

Takagi was suspended for one year on March 22, 2016, after he was found to have bet on a handful of baseball games at the urging of a Giants teammate. He was immediately fired by the Central League club.

Three other Giants players who were released after admitting to betting on baseball games received indefinite suspensions. The left-hander, who is aiming to rejoin Yomiuri’s 70-man roster, is the first player to resume his professional career after being suspended for betting on baseball, according to NPB.

“I feel like it’s finally begun. I’ve got no thoughts about (getting back to) the first team at the moment, I just want to concentrate on things that I can,” he said.

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