Japanese pitcher Roki Sasaki’s brush with perfection has come to an end.
Sasaki, who plays for the Chiba Lotte Marines, threw 17 straight perfect innings — including a perfect game on April 10 — but gave up a hit to the first batter he faced Sunday.
Shuhei Fukuda of the Orix Buffaloes hit Sasaki’s first pitch, a fastball, to reach base and break a streak of 52 straight outs against Sasaki.
The 20-year-old sensation allowed two earned runs on six hits, three walks and two hit batsmen in five innings and was credited with the win as the Marines beat the Buffaloes 6-3 at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka.
Two weeks ago, Sasaki struck out 19 batters while firing the first perfect game in Nippon Professional Baseball since 1994.
The right-hander tied the Japanese baseball league’s all-time record for strikeouts in a game and also set a record with 13 consecutive strikeouts in that outing.
He followed that game with eight perfect innings on April 17. He struck out 14 before he was lifted after throwing 102 pitches against the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.
–Field Level Media