Yakult swallowtail Murakami Munetaka (23) hit a home run in extra innings to spark a rebound.
Murakami, starting at third base and batting fourth, went 3-for-4 with one home run, one double, two runs scored and one walk against the Hanshin Tigers at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, on 25 May. Yakult lost the game 4-7 in extra innings.메이저놀이터
Yakult’s defeat came when they gave up four runs in the top of the 10th inning of extra innings. But Murakami refused to give up and hit a solo home run. It was his eighth home run of the season. As Japanese media outlet Tokyo Sports put it, “Down by four runs and in a defeatist mood, there were no runners on base. Murakami stepped to the plate in the fifth inning and pulled an eight-pitch slider from Yuta Iwasada to perfection, sending it into the top of the right-field bleachers.”
After batting .301 (155-for-487) with 56 homers, 134 RBIs and a 1.168 OPS in 141 games last season to become the most prolific Japanese player to ever hit for the cycle and win the Triple Crown, Murakami hasn’t shown any sign of last year’s impact, batting .222 (35-for-157) with eight homers, 26 RBIs and a .767 OPS in 44 games this season. However, he has come alive in May, batting .297 (22-for-74) with six homers, 14 RBIs and a .983 OPS in 19 games.
Despite Murakami’s home run, Yakult lost in extra innings and dropped its seventh straight game. It is the longest losing streak of the season. Murakami couldn’t smile despite his home run because his team was still losing. “There were no smiles because the score was still three runs down, but Murakami gave them a shot that could carry over into tomorrow,” Tokyo Sports wrote.
Murakami said, “I went to bat with a lot of focus because I have fans who support me until the end. We’re leaving for an away game, but we’ll do our best to win,” he said after the game.