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Japanese pitcher Roki Sasaki looks to extend his perfect streak

TOKYO (AP) — Roki Sasaki, the 20-year-old Japanese pitcher with a 100 mph fastball and a devastating splitter, will try again for perfection when he starts Sunday for the Chiba Lotte Marines against the Orix Buffaloes in Osaka. .

Sasaki pitched a perfect game against Orix on April 10 – the first in Japan in 28 years – and followed it up with more than eight perfect innings on April 17 before being retired by manager Tadahito Iguchi after 102 pitches.

That means Sasaki has thrown an unfathomable 17 consecutive perfect innings without allowing as a base runner. That’s 51 batters. If you add the last out he got when he left before the perfect game, that’s 52.

Sasaki struck out 19 in the perfect game and added 14 in the eight-inning game, 33 of the 51 batters he faced in those two starts.

Sasaki defeated Orix 6-0 in their perfect game.

The second game ended in a 1-0 loss after Sasaki withdrew. The Nippon Ham Fighters won it with a home run in the 10th inning.

Sasaki grew up in Iwate Prefecture, northeast Japan. Her father was killed in the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and the collapse of three nuclear reactors that devastated this part of the country.

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