- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 182 lb.
- High School Tsurumi High School
Makoto Kurata pitched for 14 seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball.
He debuted in 1965, walking both batters he faced for the Yomiuri Giants. He resurfaced in 1968, going 6-5 with a 3.35 ERA and .203 opponent average. He pitched two shutout innings in the 1968 Japan Series, won by the Giants. Kurata gave up 7 runsin 10 innings in 1969 then was 5-2 with a 0.97 ERA and .205 opponent average in 1970. He had a 4.15 ERA in the 1970 Japan Series and won game two against the Lotte Orions as Yomiuri took the title.
In 1971, the right-hander worked in 44 games, going 5-4 with a 2.51 ERA, allowing only one homer in 89 2/3 innings. As Yomiuri had complete games in four of five contests in the 1971 Japan Series, he did not appear in yet another Series win (one of a record nine straight). Kurata went 4-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 1972.
The Tokyo native had a career year in 1973, going 18-9 with a 2.74 ERA. He was second on the Giants in victories, behind Kazumi Takahashi. He was one of just three hurlers used by Yomiuri in the 5-game 1973 Japan Series, along with Takahashi and Tsuneo Horiuchi. He started game two (won by Horiuchi in relief) and game five (winning the finale), posting a 2.13 ERA overall.
Makoto fell to 5-3, 3.15 with six saves in 1974, then was 3-4 with two saves and a 2.68 ERA in 1975. THe veteran went 1-2 with a save, a 3.14 ERA amd .220 opponent average in 1976, his last season with the Giants. He allowed three runs in two innings in game three of the 1976 Japan Series; Yomiuri fell in seven to the Hankyu Braves.
Moving to the Yakult Swallows, Kurata had a 6.65 ERA and .318 average allowed in 15 outings. He was 5-2 with four saves and a 4.24 ERA in 1978. In 1979, he was 1-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 36 games. He went 2-0 with 8 runs in 7 1/3 innings in 1980, his last campaign.
Overall, Kurata had gone 55-37 with 13 saves, a 3.36 ERA and .231 opponent average in 374 games in NPB. He later was a public relations employee and equipment manager for Yomiuri.