‘Home run king wakes up’ Murakami, 3-game homer streak to 22…3-for-5 blast “I think it’s 30 points”

Home run king Munetaka Murakami (Yakult Swallows), who set the Japanese record for most home runs in a season (56) last year, has hit a home run for the third straight game.

Murakami started at third base in the No. 4 spot against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp on Tuesday at Meiji-Jingu Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, and went 3-for-5 with one home run, five RBIs and three runs scored. He led Yakult to a 13-3 victory.

Murakami walked with the bases loaded in the first inning. Yakult loaded the bases with back-to-back singles and a shortstop error. Murakami then hit a 145-kilometer fastball from Hiroshima starter Hiroki Tokoda for a two-run double to right field.

“I came to the plate thinking that I wanted to take the lead somehow, and after Kitamura hit a grand slam and had six RBIs yesterday, I said I had 90 points, and I wanted to hit a grand slam and say I had 90 points,” Murakami said after the game.

After Murakami’s RBI single, Yakult exploded for six runs, including a three-run homer by Santana.

Murakami, who singled to left field in the second and struck out swinging in the fourth, doubled to right field with two outs in the sixth to make it 7-1. A walk loaded the bases, and Yakult scored on Yuhei Nakamura’s RBI double to make it 9-1.

With two outs and runners on first and second in the eighth inning for a 10-1 lead, Yakult crushed an outside fastball over the left field fence for a three-run homer. It was his 22nd home run of the season, his first three-game homer streak of the season.

“Yesterday, Kitamura had six RBIs and said he was 90, so it’s more like 30,” Murakami said with a laugh in his postgame interview. In Game 9, the rookie Kitamura went 6-for-6, including a grand slam for his first career hit. It was only the fourth time in Nippon Professional Baseball history that a rookie hit a grand slam in his first at-bat.온라인바카

Murakami, who won three batting titles (home runs, runs batted in, and RBIs) last year, has been in a slump this season. At the end of April, he was batting just 1-for-5. As the summer progressed, he slowly started to hit better.

In July, he batted 3-for-1, and in August, he batted 3-for-3. In his last six games, Murakami is 9-for-22 (4-for-9) with three home runs, 10 RBIs, and seven runs scored.

In 100 games this season, Murakami is batting 25-for-90 (353 at-bats) with 22 home runs, 64 RBI, 55 runs scored and an OPS of .863. He is second in home runs, nine behind first-place Kazuma Okamoto (Yomiuri, 31). He is third in the league in RBIs, eight behind first-place Okamoto (72).

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