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Japan baseball opens to relief and cheer

- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CHIBA, JAPAN (AP) - Backdropped by the deadly earthquake and tsunami and worsening radiation leak, the Japan Pro Baseball season has opened to relief, empathy and cheers with the Rakuten Eagles beating the defending champion Chiba Lotte Marines 6-4.

The Eagles' home of Sendai has been one of the hardest hit by last month's earthquake and tsunami, and they're unable to use their own stadium until April 29.

Local TV showed people in shelters watching Tuesday's game, before which there was a moment of silence, and each fan in the Chiba cheering section held up signs of support for the disaster areas which said, "Stay Strong Japan."

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