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3/31/2011: Hideki Matsui, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Hideki Okajima

by on Mar.31, 2011 @ 10:37 am, under MLB

From exhibition games on the 30th:

LA Dodgers 8 - Seattle Mariners 1
Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted 1st (replaced in the 6th on defense).  He went 0-for-3: strikeout, strikeout, strikeout (12 pitch at bat).  For Ichiro, this was his first time in his career that he struck out three times in an exhibition game.

San Francisco Giants 2 - Oakland A's 1
Hideki Matsui was the starting DH and batted 5th.  He went 1-f0r-4: fly out to left, single to left, ground out to short, fly out to right.  Matsui also faced Marc Kroon during his last at bat (fly out to right).

Minnesota Twins 2 - Atlanta Braves 0
Tsuyoshi Nishioka started at second and batted 2nd (replaced on defense in the 5th).  He went 1-for-3: infield single (steals second), fly out to center ground out to first.

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Hideki Okajima told reporters he's having a hard time handling the demotion to the minors and that it'll probably take some time before he fully accepts it.  Okajima also tossed a shutout inning in relief (1 IP, 1 H, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 0 R) during a minor league exhibition game on the 30th.

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Marc Kroon was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on the 30th, but isn't sure if he'll report.  The San Francisco Giants apparently want him to stick around. (via Nikkan Sports)

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According to Nikkan Sports: Hiroki Kuroda is expected to start his first regular season game on 4/3 against the San Francisco Giants; and Daisuke Matsuzaka on 4/6 against the Cleveland Indians.