LAKELAND, Fla. – Hideo Nomo’s bid for a place in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ starting rotation suffered another setback Tuesday as the Japanese right-hander allowed four runs on two homers in a preseason exhibition game.
Nomo gave up two-run homers to Craig Monroe and Brandon Inge in the first inning before retiring the side in order in the next in a two-inning outing against the Detroit Tigers. Tampa Bay rallied to beat Detroit 12-4.
“Those pitches went high and I’m not satisfied with my performance,” Nomo said of the homers he surrendered in his second start of the spring after giving up two runs in two innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.
“I know I’ve got to throw strikes low in the zone and that’s what I’ve been trying to do,” Nomo said. “I’ll just keep on trying it. I’m not sure at the moment if I’ll be able to remain with the team.”
Nomo was signed to a minor-league contract earlier in the offseason.
At Vero Beach, Fla., left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii pitched no-hit ball with four strikeouts in two innings but was charged with the loss on Dodgers’ defensive miscues that allowed the Florida Marlins to score three runs.
At Mesa, Ariz., Oakland A’s rookie Keiichi Yabu allowed two runs on two hits in two innings while striking out two in a 6-4 victory over a split squad of the Chicago Cubs.
Also at Mesa, Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-3 with a single to left to extend his hitting streak to five games as a split squad of the Seattle Mariners beat Milwaukee 8-4.
At Tucson, Ariz., Chicago White Sox infielder Tadahito Iguchi singled to left on a 1-for-2 day as the Japanese rookie had at least one hit in his fourth consecutive preseason game. The White Sox lost 6-1 to the Colorado Rockies.
Elsewhere, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder So Taguchi went 2-for-3 with a stolen base in a 9-7 victory over the Washington Nationals at Jupiter, Fla., while Kazuo Matsui was 1-for-3 as the New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-4 at Port St. Lucie.