TOKYO (AP) — Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka won his 21st straight game on Friday to set a new Japanese professional baseball record for consecutive wins in one season.
Tanaka improved to 21-0 after giving up two runs over the distance as his Rakuten Eagles beat the Orix Buffaloes 6-2. The previous record of 20 was set in 1957 by Kazuhisa Inao.
The last time Tanaka lost a game was on Aug. 19, 2012. Since then the 24-year-old right-hander has won 25 straight, one more than the Major League Baseball mark set by Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants spanning 1936 and 1937.
Many in Japan are suggesting that Tanaka will pursue a career in MLB after this season, a move that would make him the most sought-after Japanese export since Yu Darvish.