He struck out 17 of the 27 batters he faced.

Yokohama BayStars left-handed ace Shota Imanaga (29) humiliated the Yomiuri Giants batting lineup. Imanaga started the game against Yomiuri at the Togyo Dome on July 7 and struck out a whopping 15 batters by the seventh inning. It was his most strikeouts in a single game and tied the Yokohama club record. It was one short of the Central League record of 16.

The Nippon Professional Baseball record is 19 strikeouts. The second-most in history, set by Chiba Lotte Marines’ Roki Sasaki (21) in April last year when he pitched a perfect game against the Orix Buffaloes.

Imanaga pitched seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball on 113 pitches in a 2-1 victory.

Yomiuri took the lead in the bottom of the second inning on a home run by No. 4 hitter Kazuma Okamoto. On a 2B2S count, Okamoto smashed a 151-kilometer-per-hour fastball from Imanaga over the left-center field fence. It was his first 20-homer game in either league this season.

Yomiuri’s No. 4 hitter Okamoto hits his 20th home run of the season off Imanaga in the second inning against Yokohama on July 7. Photo credit: Yomiuri Giants SNS
However, the Yomiuri bats were then overwhelmed by Imanaga’s counterattack. Seven batters were retired in a row, from No. 8 Takumi Kitamura in the bottom of the second inning to the final batter, Takumi Oshiro, in the bottom of the fourth.토토사이트

In the seventh inning, with a 2-1 lead, Imanaga gave up back-to-back singles to Oshiro and Sho Takata, Nos. 4 and 5. With runners on first and second and no outs, Imanaga struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed. He struck out pinch-hitters Hisayoshi Jono and Yukinori Kishida with runners on first and third.

Imanaga said in his postgame interview that he was conscious of the strikeout in the bottom of the seventh inning, and he wanted to give himself a pat on the back for a job well done.

Yokohama closer Asuaki Yamasaki pitched the bottom of the ninth and struck out two. Imanagawa Yamasaki struck out a total of 17 batters. This is the most strikeouts in a single game for the Yomiuri franchise. This is the third time this has happened, after 2004 and 2019.

Imanagawa Yomiuri starting pitcher Shosei Dogo (23) is a member of Japan’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) team. Despite pitching seven innings of six-hit, two-run ball, Dogo was outdueled by the senior Imanagawa, who took the loss.

Imanaga pitched for Japan against Italy at the WBC. Photo credit: Japan National Baseball Team website
Yokohama won a one-run game for the second straight day, following a 3-2 victory the previous day (June 6) in which Trevor Bauer started. They are in second place, one game behind the first-place Hanshin Tigers.

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