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6/17/2011: Hideki Matsui, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Kosuke Fukudome

by on Jun.17, 2011 @ 1:17 pm, under MLB

Games from the 16th:

Oakland A's 8 - Kansas City Royals 4
Hideki Matsui was the starting DH and batted third.  He went 1-for-4: fly out to left, solo homer (6) to right, walk, ground out to first, strikeout looking.  Matsui's homer in the bottom of the 3rd was the 499th of his career (NPB + MLB).

Minnesota Twins 1 - Chicago White Sox 0
Tsuyoshi Nishioka started at short and batted third.  He went 1-for-4: strikeout swinging, fly out to center, strikeout looking, infield single.  Nishioka also committed a fielding error in the top of the 6th.

Chicago Cubs 12 - Milwaukee Brewers 7
Kosuke Fukudome started in right and batted first.  He went 3-for-5: single to center (run scored), RBI triple to right (run scored), ground out to second, 3-run homer (3) to right, fly out to left.  Fukudome was just a double away from the cycle.

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Buffalo Bisons 7 - Norfolk Tides 4
Ryota Igarashi entered the game in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded, 2 out, and Buffalo up 7-3.  Igarashi allowed one of the inherited runners to scores on a walk before recording the third out of the inning.  He also retired the side in order in the 9th and picked up his 2nd save of the year.  Final line: 1.1 IP, 5 BF, 22-13 NP-S, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR.

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Salem Red Sox 10 - Potomac Nationals 3
Junichi Tazawa started the game and allowed 1 run (solo homer in the 1st) over 3 innings of work.  Final line: 3 IP, 12 BF, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR.

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Hideki Matsui will get a chance to play the OF:

A's interim manager Bob Melvin, who reinserted Matsui into the team's everyday lineup last week, said the slugger will see time in the outfield during the team's six-game National League road trip. Melvin said his decision to play Matsui in the outfield is due to the length of the road trip, adding that he would be less apt to play him there if it were just a three-game trip.

"I want to keep him current and I want to keep him getting current at-bats and consistent at-bats because he's done very well to this point," Melvin said. "There's a good chance you could see him get a start in the outfield, maybe once a series, then the other games doing the pinch-hitting thing. I've talked to him about it and he's comfortable with it."

Since Melvin took over the A's managerial duties, Matsui went 7-for-23 with three home runs, seven RBIs and five walks while batting third in the order as the team's designated hitter.

When Matsui does play the outfield during the six-game swing, it likely won't be in the left-field position he is accustomed to, but rather in right, where he has played only seven games during his Major League career. In 2008, the last time Matsui saw time in right field, he played three games and started two of them.

He also recorded his 500th MLB career walk on the 15th.

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The latest on Takashi Saito, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Roenicke was encouraged with Saito's 17-pitch outing, which included 12 strikes.

"I was real happy with it," Roenicke said. "You always worry about what's going to happen that first one; I'm sure he was worried about it.

"He was 88 to 92 (mph) in velocity, so I thought that was great."

Roenicke said the plan was for Saito to make three or four appearances in Nashville before returning to the Brewers. The right-hander is scheduled to pitch Saturday.

Saito has been on the disabled list since April 11 but is eligible to come off at any point.

If Saito comes back, he is expected to fill a late-inning relief role.

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Daily Sports reports that the Yoshihiro Doi signed a contract with the Lancaster Barnstormers on the 16th.  If Doi's visa application process goes smoothly, he could join the team within the next few days.

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