• Kyodo


Seattle Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, who is still on the disabled list with bruised ribs on his right side, struck out all three batters he faced in a minor league game on Saturday.

Sasaki started in a Tacoma Rainiers game and sat down three batters swinging in his first mound appearance since June 5 against the Philadelphia Phillies. He threw 12 pitches and dominated with his signature forkball — clocking speeds of about 142 kph.

Tacoma, Seattle’s Triple-A club in the Pacific Coast League, took on the Salt Lake Stingers of Anaheim.

“At this point, I give myself a passing grade. I was able to pinpoint my location on my forkballs,” Sasaki said.

Sasaki is scheduled to make another minor league mound appearance on Monday and rejoin the Mariners, depending on his condition, sometime soon after that.

“I want to pitch better in my next mound appearance. If everything goes well then, I’ll be ready to get back to the team,” said Sasaki, who has a 1-1 record with 10 saves and a 4.12 ERA after 22 games this season.

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