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Right-hander Takahiro Norimoto kept the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles’ slim Pacific League playoff hopes going on Friday with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

A day after manager Senichi Hoshino announced he would leave the team due to poor results, Norimoto (13-9) allowed three hits in his Japan-best seventh shutout of the season.

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