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Cuba kicks 6 baseball players off squad for trying to defect

Cuban authorities say six baseball players have been ruled out of the national squad for trying to defect.

Government news website Cubadebate lists the players as pitchers Diosdani Castillo, Carlos Manuel Portuondo and Yasmani Hernandez Romero, as well as infielders Gelkis Jimenez and Adriel Labrada and outfielder Alejandro Jaime Ortiz.

Cubadebate says they were implicated in "attempts to leave the country illegally."

It did not give details Wednesday or say if any succeeded.

Cubadebate also named Yasmani Tomas, a hard-hitting outfielder formerly with Havana ball club Industriales. Officials acknowledged his defection on Friday.

The players will not figure in the squad selected to face a U.S. collegian team next month in Cuba.

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