• Kyodo

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Pitching in his first real game in Japan since the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka returned to the mound where he made his name on Wednesday.

At 34, Matsuzaka is a far cry from the schoolboy who rose to fame as a pitcher of speed and epic stamina at Koshien Stadium in Hyogo Prefecture. Even though his best years are behind him, Tigers fans treated Matsuzaka like one of their own in the Hawks’ 3-0 exhibition win.

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