Posted September 15, 2013 on AP on Fox
Former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs on Sunday, breaking the Japanese single-season record set by legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh 49 years ago. Balentien hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Sunday's game, sending the ball over the left-field wall at Tokyo's Jingu Stadium to give his Yakult Swallows an early lead over the Hanshin Tigers. He then added a solo shot in the third for No. 57. Oh set the record of 55 in 1964. While it was equaled by ex-major leaguers Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002, many felt Oh used his position as a manager to prevent both players from breaking it. The 29-year-old Balentien missed the first 12 games of this season because of a leg injury sustained while playing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. Balentien's challenge of Oh's record comes in a season in which there is controversy over a new, livelier baseball. In June, Japanese baseball officials admitted they intr...
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