[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
Hanshin 43 26 17 0
Hiroshima 46 26 19 1
Yomiuri 44 23 21 0
Yokohama 45 20 23 2
Yakult 44 19 25 0
Chunichi 46 17 26 3
G W L T
Rakuten 39 28 11 0
Softbank 46 28 18 0
Seibu 42 24 17 1
Nippon Ham 43 18 25 0
Orix 43 18 25 0
Lotte 45 12 32 1
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