Murton tops Ichiro to set single-season hits record in Japan

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TOKYO, Oct. 5 (21:49) Kyodo


Matt Murton broke Ichiro Suzuki's Japanese baseball
single-season hits record of 210 and Craig Brazell homered twice,
leading the Hanshin Tigers to a 17-4 rout of the Yakult Swallows on

Murton's 211th hit came in a nine-run second inning as he
singled on a ground ball to center field off rookie Masato Nakazawa
with the bases loaded and two outs at Jingu Stadium.

The former Colorado Rockies outfielder tied Suzuki's 1994 mark
with a seventh-inning single at Hiroshima on his 29th birthday Sunday
and it took him just three at-bats from there to surpass it.

Murton later brought his season total to 213 with another base
hit in the fifth and a run-scoring double in the ninth. He finished
the night 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

Brazell drove in three runs with his home runs Nos. 46 and 47,
moving within one of Central League home run leader Alex Ramirez, who
hit his 48th for the Yomiuri Giants earlier Tuesday.

Tomoaki Kanemoto hit a three-run homer in the second and Hanshin
finished with 19 hits, including four from Kenji Johjima.

Atsushi Nomi (8-0) allowed four runs, three earned, in five
innings for the win. Nakazawa (7-9) was pounded for nine runs in
1-2/3 innings.


Giants 4, BayStars 0

At Yokohama Stadium, rookie Hisayoshi Chono led off the game
with a homer and Alex Ramirez hit his baseball-leading 48th home run,
a solo shot in the fourth, as Yomiuri handed Yokohama its fifth loss
in six games.

Hideki Asai (4-1) went six innings and combined with three
relievers on a seven-hit shutout. Kenjiro Tanaka (1-2) gave up four
runs in five innings.

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