[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 89 56 31 2
Hanshin 85 46 39 0
Yokohama 88 45 40 3
Yomiuri 88 41 46 1
Chunichi 90 39 48 3
Yakult 88 29 57 2
G W L T
Rakuten 81 55 25 1
Softbank 89 58 31 0
Seibu 85 46 37 2
Orix 85 38 46 1
Nippon Ham 88 32 56 0
Lotte 86 28 57 1
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