FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Daisuke Matsuzaka focused on his off-speed pitches, not the results.
The Florida Marlins tagged Matsuzaka for three innings Saturday and beat Boston’s split squad 11-2.
Matsuzaka gave up seven runs, five of them earned, on six hits and two walks. An error by second baseman Dustin Pedroia helped prolong a three-run first inning.
“We struggled to get out of the first inning,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Don’t get an out, and those are the things you hope happen in spring training and not during the season.”
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Matsuzaka has a 10.80 ERA after two spring outings, but said he wasn’t concerned about his line. In his first outing, he worked on his fastball; this time, it was another set of pitches.
“I had different homework from last time to today,” he said through a team interpreter. “I went to what I wanted to do and there was good and bad. Doing homework, the stuff I wanted to improve on, was pretty much done the last two outings. From the next time, I’m going to approach it as the regular season.”
Former Red Sox minor leaguer Anibal Sanchez pitched three scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out three. Boston traded him and shortstop Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins before the 2006 season for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell.
Sanchez walked leadoff man Marco Scutaro and gave up a single to Pedroia before retiring the next nine batters.
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Sanchez said the lengthy top of the first caused him to allow the first two batters to reach base.
“Matsuzaka had a bad (first) inning,” he said. “I rested for a while. I wasn’t the same from when I threw the bullpen.”
Sanchez threw 43 pitches, 26 strikes.
“I like that,” he said. “Right now I am looking for 15 pitches or less an inning. I don’t (want) to throw too many balls and I want to go deep on the counts. Right now I want to throw every batter a first-pitch strike.”
Non-roster invitee Dewayne Wise had three hits for Florida, scored twice and drove in two runs. He homered in the second off Matsuzaka.
“People around the league know I can play defense,” said Wise, competing for a spot on the Marlins’ bench. “I just think it’s about getting an opportunity. I know I can do it.”
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