• Kyodo

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Dennis Sarfate, who saved a Japan-record 54 games last season, and left fielder Akira Nakamura were both deactivated on Wednesday by the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

Sarfate is suffering from stiffness in his right hip and will return to the United States in the coming days to have it examined. Nakamura is expected to miss three to four weeks with a thigh muscle injury in his right leg.

Sarfate, a 37-year-old right-hander with 234 career saves in Nippon Professional Baseball, was unable to pitch on Tuesday. The Hawks, who are already without short reliever Sho Iwasaki, needed right-hander Yuito Mori to close out the 5-3 win over the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. No date is set for his return.

The 28-year-old Nakamura, who had played every game over the past two seasons, is suffering from a light injury to the femoral biceps muscle.

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