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BOSTON (CBS) – Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched into the seventh inning on Thursday night, but the right-hander still struggled as the Pawtucket Red Sox fell 5-0 to the Durham Bulls.
Matsuzaka threw 6.2 innings, the longest outing on his current rehab stint, but was tagged for two more home runs while allowing five runs (four unearned) on seven hits. He threw 64 of his 95 pitches for strikes, striking out three and walking none.
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The first batter Matsuzaka faced Thursday night, Jesus Feliciano, went deep, but the Sox righty retired 10 of 11 batters over the third to sixth inning. But in the sixth, Matsuzaka served up a three-run bomb to the Bulls’ Henry Wrigley.
In five rehab starts, Matsuzaka has allowed six homers while striking out 22 and walking six over 25.1 innings pitched.
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Matsuzaka is scheduled for another rehab outing on May 22 as he comes back from Tommy John surgery last summer. After that, the team will have to make the decision if he is ready to return to the majors or will need a longer minor league rehab stint, which would require Matsuzaka to be shut down for at least seven days in order to start a new 30-day rehab assignment.
On Wednesday, manager Bobby Valentine hinted that Matsuzaka would not being ready after his May 22 start.