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Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo hopes that right-hander Chihiro Kaneko will continue in Friday’s Game 2 of the Japan-Major League All-Star Series what teammate Kenta Maeda started in a 2-0 win in Game 1.

Kokubo called Kaneko, who won this year’s Sawamura Award as Japan’s outstanding starting pitcher, “the ace of both leagues (in Japan).” The right-hander, who turned 31 last Saturday, is coming off his second straight superb season for the Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes.

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