Cuban Premier12 star Despaigne ties NPB Japan Series all-time record

Cuban Premier12 star Despaigne ties NPB Japan Series all-time record
The 34-year old slugger produced six RBIs in Game 2 of the NPB Japan Series, putting the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks within two wins of a fourth consecutive title.

Cuban international superstar Alfredo Despaigne tied an all-time record in the second game of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Japan Series with a six-RBI performance.

The 34-year old slugger, nicknamed El Inmenso back home, has represented Cuba in all the major international competitions like the 2008 Olympics (silver medal), the WBSC Premier12 2015 and 2019, and the last three World Baseball Classics. He hit over 400 career home runs in Cuba and became a three-time NPB All-Star. He has played for the Chiba Lotte Marines from 2014 to 2016 and has been starring for the Hawks since 2017.

Despaigne contributed to the 13-2 win by the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks over the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants that extended Fukuoka's lead in the Japan Series to 2-0. Despaigne hit the first Japan Series grand slam in the history of the franchise. Fellow Cuban Yurisbel Gracial and catcher Kai Takuya, also WBSC Premier12 alumni, added a pair of home runs to the slugfest.

The Hawks, the three-time defending NPB champions, have a running winning streak in the Japan Series at nine games, 13 if taking into consideration the overall postseason, and that dates back to 2018.

Fukuoka won the series opener, 5-1, on Saturday (21 November) against the Giants and Samurai Japan ace pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano.

The third game of the Japan Series is scheduled on Tuesday (24 November) at the PayPay Dome in Fukuoka.

Related article: The rosters of the Japan Series