Norichika Aoki (41), an outfielder for the Yakult Swallows of Nippon Professional Baseball, was replaced after being hit in the head by a pitch during a game against the Hiroshima Carp on Saturday. Trailing 3-5 in the top of the seventh inning, a 154-kilometer-per-hour fastball from Hiroshima second baseman Ryoji Kuribayashi (27) struck Aoki in the head.
For an instant, Hiroshima Matsuda Stadium went silent, as if a bucket of cold water had been thrown on it. Aoki was carried off on a stretcher and immediately taken to the hospital for further examination.
This is the seventh time in his career that Aoki, a right-handed hitter, has been hit by an empty ball. The previous six times he was hit by balls thrown by left-handed pitchers. Kuribayashi is the first right-hander to do so.
Luckily, it wasn’t a serious injury.
Aoki hit a three-run home run as a pinch hitter against the Yokohama BayStars at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 28.
Down 1-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, runners on first and second. Manager Shingo Takatsu made the call. He brought up Aoki to pinch-hit for pitcher Sai Snead in the ninth. Aoki was playing two days after a 27-day break.
On a 1B1S count, a fastball from Yokohama left-hander Katsuki Azuma was in the middle of the strike zone.
to the plate. Aoki didn’t miss it, pulling it in for a grand slam.
His third home run of the season. Takatsu’s pinch-hitting plan worked. “My body is fine,” Aoki said. I tried to concentrate at the plate,” Aoki said.
With the home run, the 41-year-old veteran reached 1,000 career runs.
Aoki’s three-run homer gave Yakult a 4-3 lead. It would have been a great story if they had held on to the lead, but the bullpen collapsed.
In the top of the eighth inning, Yokohama No. 4 Shugo Maki lined a double to center field to tie the game, and with two outs, pinch-hitter Yamato lined a single to left field to put the game out of reach. In the eighth inning, Yakult right-hander Noboru Shimizu was unable to stop the Yokohama center field lineup.
The 4-5 loss was Yakult’s fifth straight, leaving them in fifth place, 1.5 games ahead of the “last place” Junichi Dragons. Aoki’s bid for a third consecutive title is slipping away. 스포츠토토
Aoki, born in 1982, is the oldest player to hit a home run in Nippon Professional Baseball this year. His home run was the 1923rd of his career.
Hit. Aoki is the only player in Nippon Professional Baseball to reach 200 hits in a season twice. He hit 202 in 2004, his second year, and 209 in 2010. Last season he had just 55 hits, and this year he has 49 in 65 games.