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6/22/2011: Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Tsuyoshi Nishioka

by on Jun.22, 2011 @ 2:21 pm, under MLB

Games from the 21st:

Washington Nationals 6 - Seattle Mariners 5
Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted first.  He went 2-for-5: single to left (run scored), ground out to short, GIDP, single to center and steals second (19), ground out to second.  Ichiro also took a thrown ball off his left calf while stealing second in the 7th inning.  After the game, he had the calf taped up.

Oakland A's 7 - New York Mets 3
Hideki Matsui started in left and batted fourth.  He went 1-for-2: sac fly to center, walk, single to left (run scored), ground out to the pitcher, walk.

Minnesota Twins 9 - San Francisco Giants 2
Tsuyoshi Nishioka started at short and batted 8th.  He went 1-for-4: double to center (run scored), fly out to right, fly out to center, ground out to short.

Chicago White Sox 3 - Chicago Cubs 2
Kosuke Fukudome entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the top of the 8th and remained in the game as a right fielder.  He went 1-for-1: single to right.

Texas Rangers 5 - Houston Astros 4
Yoshinori Tateyama entered the game in the top of the 11th, with the score tied at 4, and tossed a shutout inning in relief for his first victory of the year (the Rangers won the game in the bottom of the inning on a lead-off homer by Mitch Moreland).  Final line: 1 IP, 4 BF, 19-12 NP-S, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR.

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Buffalo Bisons 9 - Durham Bulls 1
Ryota Igarashi entered the game in the bottom of the 7th (Buffalo up 7-1) and tossed 2 shutout innings in relief.  Final line: 2 IP, 7 BF, 30-20 NP-S, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR.

Pawtucket Red Sox 6 - Louisville Bats 3
Hideki Okajima entered the game in the 6th (Pawtucket up 3-2) and retired the side in order.  But in his second inning of work, he allowed the tying run to score on a solo homer.  Okajima ended up with his second win (2-0) and his third blown save of the year. Final line: 2 IP, 7 BF, 23-14 NP-S, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR.

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Koji Uehara apparently doesn't like the retro uniforms the team is currently wearing because they don't come with a belt.

"Belts are needed," said Uehara.  "I'm being a little nit-picky, but it seems like I might hurt my back."

On a more serious note, he also said, "I'm really taking good care of my body right now.  There's also a lot of mental stress involved because I pitch in pressure situations, but compared to last year and the year before, I'm having a lot more fun."

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With 1,537,101 votes, Ichiro Suzuki dropped to 6th in the latest All-Star balloting tally behind Jose Bautista (4,156,940), Curtis Granderson (3,473,227), Josh Hamilton (2,400,408), Jacoby Ellsbury (2,249,323), and Carl Crawford (1,789,097).

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The latest on Takashi Saito, from MLB.com:

MILWAUKKE -- Reliever Takashi Saito appears one step closer to a rehabilitation assignment as Tuesday's bullpen session drew rave reviews.

"Saito had an outstanding bullpen. [Pitching coach] Rick Kranitz said that's the best he's seen him throw the ball, so we're excited about that," manager Ron Roenicke said. "The oblique felt real good today, so, right now, we're planning on him either going out Thursday and Sunday and pitching, or Friday and Monday."

Saito underwent an MRI on Monday after he exited his start in Triple-A Nashville last Friday when he felt tightness in his oblique. The right-hander is on the 60-day disabled list and has dealt with injuries for most of the season.

Roenicke said he's unsure whether Saito will pitch with Class A Wisconsin or head back to Nashville. The Brewers are checking both schedules to see what makes the most sense for Saito.

"I guess it came back pretty good, enough that he got after it in his bullpen," Roenicke said of the specifics of the MRI. "That's really encouraging."

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Daisuke Matsuzaka tweeted on the 21st that he had his cast removed.  He also mentioned that he ate McDonald's for breakfast two days straight (during his flight out of and into Boston).  Via Sponichi.