TAMPA, FLORIDA – Masahiro Tanaka fired three scoreless innings on Friday in his second preseason start, despite having poor command of his breaking pitches early on.
“To some extent, my balance wasn’t good while I was pitching,” Tanaka told reporters after allowing one hit and striking out three in a 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. “Despite that I was able to hold them scoreless, although I wasn’t facing many regulars.
“With each inning I was able to find better command.”
Elsewhere Friday, Seattle Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma also made his second preseason start, allowing one hit in three scoreless innings in a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants. Iwakuma struck out four and walked one.
“I got through my three innings as planned and I was happy with how well I pitched,” Iwakuma said. “Because my arm action felt good, I’d say I’m about 70 percent but have been fairly effective. I’ll be good when I can control my breaking pitches.”
New teammate Lee Dae-ho, who is trying to make the majors after four seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball, started at first for Seattle and went 0-for-3.
Munenori Kawasaki, who is in the Chicago Cubs’ camp on a minor league deal, singled and drove in a run in his only at-bat in a 7-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He has batted safely in three straight games.
“That was good hitting,” he said. “I will continue that for 200 games, so it’s three down, 197 to go.”