Balentien hits two homers, break Japan's 49-year-old record. TOKYO, Sept. 15 (19:21) Kyodo. Yakult Swallows outfielder Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs to break the Japanese single-season record on Sunday. The previous record stood for 49 years; The previous record, first set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and equaled by Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002, had been achieved in a 140-game season. Japan currently plays a 144-game regular season.