Yoshida bats .318 with multi-hit game…’3rd in AL batting average by 5 runs’

By Oh Sang-jin Reporter= Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox, 30) is igniting the race for the American League (AL) batting title with a stellar first season in the major leagues.

Yoshida went 2-for-4 with a double in the No. 4 spot in the lineup against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA, on 19 September. Despite Yoshida’s performance, which was his 37th multi-hit game of the season, Boston lost 0-3.

Yoshida showed off his long ball with two hits, both doubles. Leading off the second inning, Yoshida took a 95.8-mile-per-hour (154.2 km/h) three-pitch fastball from Oakland starter Luis Medina for a double that rolled to the left field fence. But Yoshida was unable to score as subsequent batters failed to capitalise on the bases-loaded opportunity.

With the bases loaded in the top of the fourth inning and Boston trailing 3-0, Yoshida once again doubled off Medina. The second pitch, a 94.7 mph (152.4 km/h) fastball, came toward him, but Yoshida used a sharp swing to drive it over the third base line. This time, however, he was unable to reach home as the subsequent batters were silent.

After being retired on a grounder in his third at-bat of the sixth inning, Yoshida hit a sharp shot to the outfield in his final at-bat of the ninth, but a sliding catch by the centre fielder ended his three-hit game.

As a result of the day’s play, the AL’s first through third place batters are all batting .318. Bo Bissett (Toronto Blue Jays) is batting .3184 (128-for-402), Yandy Diaz (Tampa Bay Rays) is batting .3180 (97-for-305) and Yoshida is batting .3179 (103-for-324). With just five points separating him from the top spot, Yoshida is trying to emulate the record of fellow Japanese major leaguer “Legend” Ichiro Suzuki.카지노사이트

Ichiro won the AL batting title twice, in 2001 (batting .350) in his rookie season and in 2004 (batting .372) when he set a record with 262 hits. If Yoshida leads the AL in batting average this season, it will be the first time a Japanese major leaguer has won the batting title in 19 years. If Yoshida wins the batting title and then the Rookie of the Year, he will become the first player to win both the batting and Rookie of the Year titles in 22 years since Ichiro in 2001.

Yoshida, who entered the big leagues with a massive five-year, $90 million contract ahead of this season, was labelled a bubble signing after his batting average plummeted into the teens at one point in April. But after hitting rock bottom, he’s rebounded with frightening momentum, batting 4-for-18 in his last 10 games to lead the AL in batting average.

It will be interesting to see if Yoshida, who has picked up the pace in the second half of the season after adjusting to the big leagues, can follow in the footsteps of Ichiro in his rookie season and achieve the feat of “Japanese Major League Hitter of the Year.

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