• Kyodo


Tokyo Yakult Swallows second baseman Tetsuto Yamada has won his sixth monthly MVP award after leading Japan in batting average, runs scored, stolen bases and on-base percentage in July, Nippon Professional Baseball announced Wednesday.

The 26-year-old posted a .425 batting average and set a team record by driving in runs in 12 consecutive games. All six of Yamada’s monthly awards have been for the months from June to September.

“I think that’s because I hate summer. I’m not a fan of the sun, so maybe because I hate that part, I take extra care of my physical condition. So that could be one reason,” Yamada said with a laugh.

The Central League’s pitching honor went to the Hiroshima Carp’s Kris Johnson, who recorded a Japan-best four wins in July. It was the first monthly MVP award for the 2016 winner of the Sawamura Award as the most impressive starting pitcher in Japanese baseball that year.

In the Pacific League, Chiba Lotte Marines first baseman Seiya Inoue and Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Kohei Arihara were the monthly honorees.

Inoue started all 20 of his team’s games, leading the PL with a .500 on-base percentage. It was his first monthly award.

Arihara went 3-0 and posted a PL-best 1.52 ERA on his way to receiving the award for a second time.

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