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Phenom Pitcher Roki Sasaki Continues Perfect-Inning Streak in NPB

It is extremely difficult to follow a perfect game with a performance just as good, but Roki Sasaki almost did exactly that. After throwing a perfect game in the NPB last week, the 20-year-old Japanese phenom threw eight more perfect innings before being taken out of the game.

Sasaki’s day was done after throwing 102 pitches when the game was tied 0-0 in the eighth inning. The right-hander added 14 strikeouts to go along with his record-breaking 19 punch outs from last week.

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters ultimately scored on a solo home run in the 10th inning to beat Sasaki’s Chiba Lotte Marines.

Sasaki has now retired 52 straight batters in 17 straight perfect innings, which is a professional record in the NPB. He has a chance to extend that streak next Sunday.

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White Sox pitcher Mark Buerhle threw 5 2/3 perfect innings the start after his perfect game in 2009, the closest an MLB pitcher has come to tossing two straight perfect games. 

Buerhle’s 45-straight hitters retired streak stood for five years until Yusmeiro Petit broke that mark in 2014. Petit retired 46 straight over an eight-game stretch as both a starter and reliever.

While no MLB pitcher has ever thrown two consecutive perfect games, the only pitcher to throw two consecutive no-hitters in MLB history is Johnny Vander Meer, who completed the feat in 1938.

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