• Kyodo

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Former Central League home run king Takahiro Arai was granted his release by the Hanshin Tigers on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Arai, whose three-year contract expires this year, hit just .244 with three home runs and 31 RBIs this season for the Tigers, who lost to the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in the Japan Series. In 2014, Arai took a backseat to first base man Mauro Gomez, who drove in 109 runs to win the CL RBI title.

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