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The real Shohei Otani made his first appearance of the season on the last day of baseball at Sapporo Dome this year. It may have also been his final time on an NPB mound.

Five years after he first set hearts aflutter on Japan’s northernmost island, and nearly at the end of a season during which he was hindered by nagging injuries, Otani made his first two-way start of 2017, striking out 10 in a two-hit shutout while also batting fourth in a 3-0 victory over the Orix Buffaloes in the Fighters’ home finale on Wednesday night at Sapporo Dome.

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