GLENDALE, Ariz. – Hideki Matsui played left field for the first time since June 2008 but had no fielding chances in the Los Angeles Angels’ 4-2 exhibition win over a split squad of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
At the plate, Matsui went 1-for-2 with an RBI single and a walk before being removed for a pinch runner in the fifth inning.
“Now I remember I used to do this (play defense) every day,” Matsui said. “I still have concerns about my knees, so I can’t be too excited. Today I just tried to stay focused while in left field.”
Bad knees restricted Matsui to designated hitter duties with the New York Yankees all season last year.
Matsui prefers to play defense because he feels he is always in the game and it helps raise his concentration level, as opposed to DHing.
At Fort Myers, Junichi Tazawa gave up three home runs in one inning of work as the Boston Red Sox fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 11-9. The right-hander allowed four runs on four hits in the fifth.
Rookie New York Mets reliever Ryota Igarashi also struggled, giving up one run on two hits with two walks in one inning in a 7-5 loss to the Washington Nationals at Viera.
Elsewhere, Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-3 and Chicago Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome went hitless in four at-bats in their respective games.