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

Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox, 30) is reigniting the American League (AL) batting title race with a breakout season in his first major league season.

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, Calif. on Sept. 19 (ET). Despite Yoshida’s performance, which was his 37th multi-hit game of the season, Boston lost 0-3.토토사이트

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 kilometers per hour) fastball from Oakland starter Luis Medina for a two-run double that rolled to the left-field fence. But Yoshida was unable to score as subsequent batters failed to capitalize on the bases-loaded opportunity.

With the bases loaded and Boston trailing 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning, Yoshida once again doubled off Medina. The second pitch, a 94.7-mile-per-hour fastball, came toward him, but Yoshida took a sharp swing and cleared the third base line. Once again, however, he was unable to reach home as the next batter was silent.

After grounding out in his third at-bat of the sixth, Yoshida hit a sharp line drive to the outfield in his final at-bat of the ninth, but a sliding catch by the center fielder ended the three-hit game.

Masataka Yoshida reignites the batting title race / Photo: Boston Red Sox

The game left the AL’s top three hitters with a combined .318 batting average. 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). Yoshida, who is just five shy of the top spot, is trying to recall the record of fellow Japanese major leaguer Ichiro “Legend” Suzuki.

Ichiro won the AL batting title twice, in 2001 (batting .350), his rookie season, and in 2004 (batting .372), when he set a franchise 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 title in 19 years. If Yoshida wins the batting title and then the Rookie of the Year, he will be the first Japanese player to win both the batting title and Rookie of the Year in 22 years since Ichiro in 2001.

Yoshida, who entered the big leagues with a massive five-year, $90 million contract before this season, was labeled a bubble signing after his batting average plummeted to 1 percent 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 adjusted to the big leagues and has picked up the pace in the second half of the season, can follow in the footsteps of Ichiro in his rookie year and accomplish the feat of becoming the first Japanese major league hitter.

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