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CL News and Notes: Norichika Aoki (YAK) continues to struggle during Inter-league play

by on Jun.16, 2011 @ 3:20 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

Keiichi Hirano became the 31st player in NPB history last night to record 200 sac hits in his career.

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Naoto Tsuru started a Ni-gun game against Softbank on Wednesday and gave up 1 run on 8 hits over 7 innings of work.

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Kenji Jojima worked out for about 4 hours at Naruohama yesterday.  His training included a stationary bike and truck strengthening exercises (anything that wouldn't put any strain on his right elbow).  Jojima will probably begin a running program outdoors at some point soon.  He also won't be doing any throwing for around 2 weeks.

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants dropped to 6 games under .500 for the first time since 4/5/2008.

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Some of the key hitters in the Giants line-up: Shinnosuke Abe doesn't have a hit in his last 12 trips to the plate; Hayato Sakamoto doesn't have a hit in his last 15 trips to the plate; Michihiro Ogasawara doesn't have a hit in his last 19 trips to the plate.

On the other side, you've got: Hisayoshi Chono - he has hit safely in 7 straight games and is 14-for-41 so far in June (.366/.395/.415); and Alex Ramirez - he too has hit safely in 7 straight and is 12-for-39 so far in June (.308/.325/.667).

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Yoshinobu Takahashi wasn't in the starting line-up Wednesday night, not because of an injury, but rather because they're leaving it up to him to make the necessary adjustment to stay healthy.  There was also a lefty on the mound so it wasn't necessarily important to have him in the starting line-up to begin with.  Takashi was available as a pinch-hitter.

Yakult Swallows

Norichika Aoki's batting average has dropped more than .050 percentage points during Inter-league play (from .354 to .298).  Inter-league stats: 22 G, 21-for-89, 6 R, 2 RBI, .236/.299/.258.

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The NPB Commissioner's office fined Josh Whitesell 100,000 yen and gave him a stern warning for being ejected from last night's game for arguing a strike call.