Baseball: Matsuzaka struggles in first rehab start
Japan's Daisuke Matsuzaka struggled in his first rehabilitation start, giving up a home run to the first batter he faced as the Salem Red Sox were hammered 7-2 by the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Monday.
Matsuzaka threw a total of 57 pitches in the Single-A minor league baseball contest, including 27 in the first inning in front of a crowd of 1,618 at LewisGale Field ballpark.
The 31-year-old righthander gave up two homers, three runs and six hits in four innings of work. Matsuzaka also had three strikeouts and no walks.
It was the Boston Red Sox ace's first start in almost 11 months since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery.
The Red Sox paid Matsuzaka's salary plus $51.1 million in negotiating rights to Japan's Seibu Lions in order to simply talk with the former Japan League star, a stalwart for two-time champion Japan in the World Baseball Classic.
Matsuzaka was 15-12 for Boston in 2007 and helped the Red Sox sweep Colorado to win the World Series. He followed in 2008 by going 18-3 with a 2.90 earned-run average.
Matsuzaka is expected to make his next rehab start in five days.