• Kyodo


Daisuke Matsuzaka struggled with his control and allowed two runs in two innings on Wednesday for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks’ Western League farm team against the Chunichi Dragons.

Matsuzaka, on his way back from the right shoulder surgery he had in August, came away from the first inning unscathed despite issuing three walks. He was pounded in the second, however, giving up four straight hits for the runs as he threw 52 pitches over two innings.

“The ball was high on the whole. I couldn’t adjust while in the game,” said Matsuzaka, whose fastest pitch logged 144 kph.

“I haven’t got concerns over pitching. There were a few good pitches among all the bad ones and I’d like to adjust them properly in this one week.”

Roving pitching coach Shinji Kurano, who checked with Matsuzaka on his pitching form after the game, said, “It’s big that he could recognize himself the reason he couldn’t pitch well.”

Matsuzaka, who threw a scoreless inning for the farm team last Thursday against the Hanshin Tigers, is likely to throw around 60 pitches in his next outing in about a week’s time.

The right-hander returned from the major leagues ahead of last season but has yet to pitch in a regular-season game. He pitched for the first team on March 16, for the first time in a year, allowing a run in two innings against his old team, the Seibu Lions, in a preseason game.

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