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Munenori Kawasaki hits first career home run

Jun 21, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays' Kawasaki celebrates his RBI single against Baltimore Orioles during their MLB game in Toronto Reuters

Blue Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki hit his first career home run in the seventh inning of tonight’s game against the Orioles. It was a two-run shot to right field off of Tommy Hunter that tied the game at six apiece. After rounding the bases and getting a round of high-fives in the dugout, his teammates pushed him back out into the field so he could acknowledge a raucous Toronto crowd. Kawasaki meekly emerged and politely bowed in several directions.

You may remember Kawasaki when he gave one of the best post-game interviews in baseball history after helping the Jays walk off victorious on May 26.

Kawasaki had entered the night with baseball’s second-longest career homerless streak among active non-pitchers, having racked up 287 plate appearances without going yard. Phillies outfielder Ben Revere leads the pack, by far, with 1,315.

Here’s the full list of players with a streak of at least 100 PA:

Rk Player PA HR From To Age Tm
1 Ben Revere 1315 0 2010 2013 22-25 MIN-PHI
2 Munenori Kawasaki 287 0 2012 2013 31-32 SEA-TOR
3 J.B. Shuck 239 0 2011 2013 24-26 HOU-LAA
4 Chase d’Arnaud 157 0 2011 2012 24-25 PIT
5 Justin Christian 155 0 2008 2012 28-32 NYY-SFG
6 Robbie Grossman 131 0 2013 2013 23-23 HOU
7 Chris Marrero 127 0 2011 2013 22-24 WSN
8 Jesus Feliciano 119 0 2010 2010 31-31 NYM
9 Jordan Brown 106 0 2010 2013 26-29 CLE-MIA
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/21/2013.

The Jays, by the way, walked off in the ninth on an RBI single by Rajai Davis. The 7-6 victory was the Jays’ ninth in a row, bringing them to .500 as they continue to gain ground in the AL East. As recently as June 10, the Jays were 12 games behind the first-place Red Sox. After the Sox wrap up their victory over the Orioles, the Jays will be a mere seven games behind.

Update (10:45 PM) — Had to add this in here:

  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    KAWABUNGA! The fans went wild. The players went wild. Buehrle pushed him out on the field so he could bow to the fans. In the bottom of the 9th with runners on first and second, the fans chanted Kawasaki over and over again. Even some of his team mates got into the act. After a long at bat he grounded out but moved the runners up to second and third. Rajai Davis proceeded to drive in Izturis. Earlier in the season, Davis also had a walk off hit in the 18 inning game.

    • missthemexpos - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Nice to watch a Blue Jay game again with some real emotion from the fans.

    • cur68 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      YEAH BABY! Did you SEE that??? ‘Saki is the BOMB!

      9 in a row, man. NINE! Wooooohoooooooo!

    • nbjays - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      You can have Crush Davis. We have “Walkoff” Davis and Crush Kawasaki.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Please tell me there’s going to be an interview to follow where he channels Sato from Karate Kid II.

    “I HEEEET HOME RRRRUUUUNNN!”

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      Not happening. Davis did the post game interview on the field.

      • nbjays - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        Yeah, for about 30 seconds until Boni pied him lol

  3. badintent - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Jays getting decent starting pitching and the big batters keep hitting. Bullpen has been lights out on the opposition for weeks. So due to get a nice run. Reyes coming back will really put them on the map. They have a nice problem when Reyes comes back, what to do with his replacements that are playing well. The only dark cloud is Morrision. The next 3 months will see 4-5 teams rotate in the playoff spots in the East.

    • cur68 - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:06 PM

      I think you mean Morrow, but yeah: IF he can get healthy what does Gibbons do with him? He could give RA some extra days off I guess. Or Wang. Still, I’d hate to break up the CockPunchTrioâ„¢. Rogers has been great, and frankly at the rate he’s going, Brett Cecil should make a comeback to the rotation, too. In fact Ricky Romero’s been doing pretty well in minor league ball, too. And Happ. What to do with Happ? So many decent pitchers, so few rotation spots.

      • badintent - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        yes Murrow, (too much excitement too night ) but I think Happ is odd man out, too bad.Cecil stays in the bullpen, having an amazing season.RA does need a break to fix his stuff and get his tricep muscle 100%.Wang is pitching well, but he’ had a recent history of injuries in the last few years , so the jury is still out on him.Murrow, nice problem to have , bring him back slowly, in August he will have to be at his best in a tough , tight playoff run with the best of the best, The Beasts of the East.

  4. thomas844 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    He is Japaneeeeeeeese!!!!!

  5. beast2727 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Asian swag!

  6. ravensgrl - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    He is the orioles killa!

  7. rockthered1286 - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    I can appreciate the win by the blue birds but come on folks, the yard birds putting in Strop with 2 outs as runners on 2nd and 3rd in the bottom of the 9th? I’d trust Valverde in there before Strop. Worst pen decision I’ve seen all season. Good thing it wasn’t a Buck decision.

  8. jaysfan64 - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Who’d a thunk it 2 weeks ago? Gonna be a good problem soon – you never can have too much starting pitching, as we know from experience..now when Bautista starts hitting again this lineup will be even more fearsome…and it looks like we have our Silver Slugger (Lind) back again…this division will be ridiculous by Sept 15….

  9. bronco1991 - Jun 22, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    I actually attended last nights game, and damn was it a good one! Buck getting tossed in the first, Ed hitting a moon shot, and then Kawasaki … Wow. I never in my life would think I would see 40,000 people on there feet chanting a for this guy! I could not wipe the smile from between my ears, what’s a great game.

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