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Yomiuri Giants cancel practice game; 2 players test positive

TOKYO — Two players with Japan’s most famous baseball team have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Tokyo-based Yomiuri Giants called off a preseason game with the Seibu Lions scheduled for Wednesday because of the positive tests. It also raises questions about the start of the delayed season.

Japan hopes to open its postponed baseball season on June 19. The 12-team league will play in stadiums without fans.

Japanese media, citing Giants team officials, reported the players are infielder Hayato Sakamoto and catcher Takumi Ohshiro. Reports said the two played in a practice game earlier in the week.

There was no immediate indication that this would change plans to start the season.

The Hanshin Tigers reported at least one player testing positive several months ago. Sports in Japan have been suspended for more than two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese soccer league is set to resume — also without fans — on July 4.


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