[7/3/2016] Shohei Otani leads off game with tenth homer of the season

Shohei Otani led off today’s game against the Softbank Hawks with the first lead-off home run of his career. He hit the very first pitch of the game over the fence in right.

[UPDATE 7/4 @ 9:50pm]

Otani is the third pitcher in NPB history to start a game and bat lead-off. The other two: Yoshiaki Toyama on August 22, 1971 (five runs on four hits, partway through the second inning and 0-for-1) and Den Yamada on August 14, 1944 (four hit, nine-inning shutout and 3-for-5 with two RBI). Only two MLB players (not pitchers) have accomplished the feat: Alvin Dark on September 27, 1953 (one inning, two runs, shift to third base in second inning) and Cesar Tovar on September 22, 1968 (played multiple positions, changing one per inning).

Source: Sponichi 7/4/2016, Sanspo 7/4/2016, Sports Hochi 7/4/2016, Chunichi Sports 7/4/2016

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
G W L T
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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