Nippon Professional Baseball announced the postponement Sunday of the three-game Pacific League series between the Chiba Lotte Marines and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, scheduled to start the following day at Chiba's Zozo Marine Stadium, after 10 Fighters players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Fighters, whose home game on Sunday at Sapporo Dome against the Seibu Lions was also postponed, are conducting contact tracing with local health authorities. The team has been instructed to cease activities until they can be done safely.
The team's Eastern League farm club, based in Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture, has also been shut down, with its three home games from Monday against Lotte's minor league team also postponed.
Infielders Ronnie Rodriguez and Yuto Takahama, outfielder Yuma Imagawa and catcher Takuya Kori were among a group who tested positive on Friday, while three members of the club's first team staff, including coach Yuji Iiyama, have also tested positive.
Shortstop Takuya Nakashima, outfielder Haruki Nishikawa and catcher Yushi Shimizu were deactivated Friday after testing positive, while Imagawa was deactivated Saturday as a precaution while he was retested.
None of the infected players took part in Saturday's game at Sapporo Dome, won 5-4 by the Fighters.
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