Shogo Akiyama, former Reds outfielder, has two hits in first game back with Hiroshima Carp

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El Paso Chihuahas outfielder Shogo Akiyama gets ready for the start of minor league game featuring the El Paso Chuahuas and the Round Rock Express on May 22, 2022 at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX.
El Paso Chihuahas outfielder Shogo Akiyama gets ready for the start of minor league game featuring the El Paso Chuahuas and the Round Rock Express on May 22, 2022 at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX.

Former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama batted third and finished 2-for-4 with an RBI in his first Nippon Professional Baseball game since returning to the Hiroshima Carp, according to a report via Twitter from the Japan Times' Jason Coskrey.

Akiyama reached a three-year deal last month with the Carp, according to multiple reports from Japanese media.

Akiyama had offers from multiple teams, per reports, and turned down an offer from his former club, the Seibu Lions, as well as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

Akiyama starred with the Lions before signing with Cincinnati in 2020.

"I've been told by my agent that we've gotten no offers from teams in American baseball. I'll return to Japan before making my next decision," Akiyama said last week, per the Japan Times.

The El Paso Chihuahuas, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, announced earlier this month that they released Akiyama.

Akiyama had been on the COVID list and out of action since June 3. He hit three home runs in about two weeks for the Chihuahuas - after going homerless in 366 regular-season appearances over parts of two seasons as an outfielder with the Reds - and posted a .907 OPS in 74 plate appearances over 16 games for El Paso.

Multiple reports last Thursday indicated that Akiyama, who turned 34 in April, was considering joining a Nippon Professional Baseball club in Japan. He was a five-time NPB All-Star and six-time Golden Glove winner with Seibu, and he broke Japan’s single-season record in 2015 with 216 hits.

The Padres signed Akiyama to a minor-league deal in late April.

The Reds announced April 5 that they released Akiyama, who hit .224 for Cincinnati. The team had informed him two days earlier that he would not make its Opening Day roster.

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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Shogo Akiyama, ex-Reds outfielder, 2-for-4 in Hiroshima Carp return