• Kyodo

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Nippon Professional Baseball said Monday that games will end in nine innings and no extra innings will be played this season to accommodate early closing hours at restaurants and bars in the Tokyo Metropolitan region amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The government’s state of emergency for Tokyo and three nearby prefectures was lifted Sunday, but local authorities have continued to ask restaurants and bars to close by 9 p.m.

NPB said some games will start earlier than scheduled to ensure they are finished by that time. The Yomiuri Giants and the Yokohama DeNA BayStars in the Central League said Monday they will start their night games at 5:45 p.m. until mid-April.

NPB had initially planned to play an additional 10th inning in games tied through nine innings, as it did last year, when the season was shortened because of the pandemic.

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