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Once the brightest star in Japan's amateur baseball constellation, 20-year-old Roki Sasaki has overcome a slow start to his pro career and has now pitched perhaps the world's greatest nine-inning game.

On April 10, the Chiba Lotte Marines' lanky 190-centimeter right-hander blew past the Nippon Professional Baseball record of nine consecutive strikeouts with 13 straight. By retiring all 27 batters he faced, he threw Japan's first perfect game in 28 years, while tying NPB's record for total strikeouts with 19.

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