(Reuters) - Masahiro Yamamoto pitched five scoreless innings in the Chunichi Dragons’ 5-0 victory over the Hanshin Tigers on Friday to become Japanese professional baseball’s oldest winning pitcher at the age of 49 years, 25 days.
Yamamoto took the win in his only start of the season at Nagoya Dome, beating the record Shinji Hamazaki set with the Hankyu Braves in 1950 at the age of 48 years and four months.
The oldest pitcher to win a game in Major League Baseball is Jamie Moyer, who was 49 years and 150 days when he tossed seven innings for the Colorado Rockies in a victory over the San Diego Padres in 2012.
The lefthanded Yamamoto, who threw 90 pitches, striking out two players, giving up five hits and one walk, said he hoped it would not be his last win.
“I just wanted to keep us in the game,” he told Kyodo news agency.
“I was calm because I’ve been out there so many times. It hasn’t been easy getting here, but I feel blessed as a ballplayer to be in this position. But this isn’t the end. I’ll keep at it.”
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Patrick Johnston