Balentien hits 55th home run to tie Japan record

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Associated Press

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 10:00 AM

TOKYO (AP) — Former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 55th home run of the season Wednesday to equal Japanese baseball's season record.

Balentien matched the record set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and equaled by ex-major leaguers Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002. He has 21 regular season games left to break the record.

Balentien hit a solo homer in the sixth inning at Jingu Stadium and was presented with a bouquet of flowers after reaching home plate.

Balentien, who is from Curacao, played for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds before signing with the Swallows in 2011. He hit 31 homers in each of his first two seasons in Japan.

Rhodes and Cabrera tied Oh's mark with several games left but were unable to break it.

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