Ramirez records 2,000th hit in Japanese baseball

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TOKYO (AP) - Venezuela’s Alex Ramirez hit a solo home run for the Yokohama BayStars on Saturday to become the first foreign player in the history of Japanese professional baseball to record 2,000 hits.

The 38-year-old outfielder connected in the bottom of the sixth inning for his first home run of the season.

“It feels great to do it at this stadium where I spent so many years,” Ramirez said. “It was raining pretty hard today, so I wasn’t sure we were going to get a game in.”

The two-time Central League MVP played for the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates before beginning his career in Japan with the Swallows in 2001, playing seven seasons for the club before moving to the Yomiuri Giants in 2008 and to Yokohama last season.

Ramirez becomes the 42nd player to reach the 2,000-hit mark in Japanese baseball. The home run was the 379th of his career in both the U.S. and Japan.

Yokohama rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 6-3 for its fourth victory against three losses.

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