TOKYO -- Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka set a Japanese professional baseball record for consecutive victories in a season by winning his 21st straight decision.
Tanaka improved to 21-0 on Friday after giving up two runs in pitching a complete game in the Rakuten Eagles' 6-2 win over the Orix Buffaloes. The previous record of 20 was set in 1957 by Kazuhisa Inao.
The last time Tanaka took a loss was Aug. 19, 2012. Since then, he has won 25 straight, one more than the Major League Baseball mark set by Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants in 1936-37.
Many in Japan are suggesting that Tanaka, 24, will pursue an MLB career after this season, a move that would make him the most sought-after Japanese export since Yu Darvish.