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Swallows slugger Munetaka Murakami hit a five-at-bat homer streak in a game against the Chunichi Dragons on August 2. Murakami became the first player to record the five-at-bat homer streak in NPB history. So far, he is hitting .321 with 39 home runs and 98 RBIs in 95 games.
The left-handed batter began his streak with a solo shot at Koshien Stadium on August 1. Murakami started the game vs. the Tigers as a third baseman and batting fourth. He hit a solo homer as the first one off the Tigers' lefty, Yudai Watanabe, into the left-field stands to make the game 1-2 in the seventh inning. The second was a game-tying home run into the right-field stands in the ninth to bring the game into the extra inning. In the eleventh, he had a go-ahead homer with two RBIs into the left-field stands to win the game, 4-2.
After a day off, the 22-year-old player kept in reasonable condition on August 3. Murakami, who started the game against the Dragons at Jingu Stadium, shot a solo homer into the right-field stands as the fourth off the Dragons' ace, Yuya Yanagi, at his first at-bat in the first. He tied the NPB record with a four-at-bat homer streak at this time. Finally, Murakami slugged the fifth homer with 2 RBIs into the left-center field stands in his second at-bat in the third to make the new record in NPB.
In his third at-bat, he hit a double, although his streak stopped.
Munetaka said, "I thought I might hit a homer because I had a dream in which I hit a home run today. It hasn't hit me yet."
Murakami is expected to break the most homers record in a single season in NPB. The current NPB record is the 60 homers that Wladimir Balentien made in 2013. If he continues to belt homers at this pace in 48 remaining games, he can aim at more than 60 home runs this season. Also, Murakami will be a possible player to win the triple crown. MLB will acquire the Japanese-born player in the near future.
Munetaka Murakami was born in Kumamoto prefecture and graduated from Kyushu Gakuin high school. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows selected Murakami in the first round of the 2017 NPB draft.
(MLB No.81 KAISPO No.1195)