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[12/10/2013] Daisuke Matsuzaka, Wei-Ying Chen, Hisanori Takahashi

by on Dec.10, 2013 @ 3:25 pm, under MLB
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The New York Mets could pursue Daisuke Matsuzaka (33).  From the New York Posts' Mike Puma:

... Alderson also still has interest in Daisuke Matsuzaka and is expected to listen on the possibility of adding veteran Freddy Garcia, who has received a minor league offer from the Braves, but is seeking a major league deal.

Source: New York Post 12/9/2013

From Newsday's Marc Carig:

... As for potential fits, Alderson said Daisuke Matsuzaka, 33, is among those on the Mets' list, though the club has had no significant dialogue with his agents. He went 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA last year. He pitched well down the stretch after signing with the Mets in August.

Source: Newsday 12/9/2013

From MLB.com's Anthony DiComo:

... In recapping Day 1 of the Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, Alderson mentioned only two potential rotation targets by name: Johan Santana, whose lead agent has been in contact with the Mets, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who ended last season with the team.

... Matsuzaka, 33, seems safer from a durability standpoint despite his own injury-plagued history. But the right-hander's upside is limited given his 5.41 ERA since 2009. Matsuzaka could not find any team willing to give him a big league contract last winter, and he may be similarly hard-pressed to do so this year.

Source: MLB.com 12/9/2013

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Wei-Ying Chen (28) visited Nagoya Stadium on Monday for the first time since leaving the Chunichi Dragons for the Majors after the 2011 season.  He did some light workouts and spent some time in the training room.  He arrived in Japan on the 8th and will be returning to Taiwan on the 12th.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/10/2013Daily Sports 12/10/2013

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The Yakult Swallows are very much interested in Hisanori Takahashi (38).  Takahashi is open to a return to Japan.

Source: Sponichi 12/10/2013

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Yakult senryokugai Itsuki Shoda (32) wants to continue his career.  In addition to playing in Japan, he has also spent time in Taiwan (2010) and the United States (2011).  He is open to playing anywhere in the world.

Source: Sponichi 12/10/2013

[5/15/2013] Norichika Aoki, Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Yu Darvish

by on May.15, 2013 @ 2:29 pm, under MLB
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From May 14:

Hitters

Player Tm Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG Other
Norichika Aoki MIL MIL 3 @ PIT 4 RF 6 1 3 0 0 0 1 .308 Batted lead-off. G6, F6, 1B1 (R), G4 (force), 1B7, 1B6. ... Second straight three-hit game (6-for-11).
Munenori Kawasaki TOR SFN 6 @ TOR 10 PR/SS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .246 Entered the game as a pinch-runner for Adam Lind in the bottom of the 6th. Remained in the game at short. Grounded out to short in his only at bat in the bottom of the 8th.
Hiroyuki Nakajima OAK SRC 9 @ NAS 0 SS 5 1 1 0 0 1   .241 Batted second. 1B9 (R), G5, F8, G1, Kl.
Hirotoshi Onaka TEX RRE 1 @ TUC 12 PH/RF 2 0 0 0 0 0   .000 Entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Jim Adduci in the top of the 7th and grounded out to second. Took over in right in the bottom of the 7th. Grounded out to first in his final at bat in the 9th.
Ichiro Suzuki NYY SEA 3 @ NYY 4 RF 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 .246 Batted seventh. Kl, Ks, F8, G1. ... Hitless in four straight (0-for-16 with five strikeouts).
Kensuke Tanaka SF FRE 3 @ MRB 4 2B 4 1 0 0 1 0   .338 Batted lead-off. BB (SB, R), F8, F7, L6, F3 (force).

Pitchers

Player Tm Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Other
Yu Darvish TEX DNP                     Next start: May 16 vs Tigers. ... To donate US$25,000 to help support City of Dallas RBI youth baseball program. [Rangers Press Release 5/14/2013] .... According to Nolan Ryan, Darvish has the "best slider in baseball." [Dallas News 5/13/2013]
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC DNP                      
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA DNP                     Next start: May 15 vs Yankees.
Hiroki Kuroda NYY DNP                      
Daisuke Matsuzaka CLE DNP                      
Toru Murata CLE DNP                      
Hideki Okajima OAK DNP                      
Hisanori Takahashi CHC IOW 1 @ REN 11 7-5 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.00 Entered the game in the bottom of the 7th with down up 10-1. Was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the 8th.
Yoshinori Tateyama TEX RRE 1 @ TUC 12 47-28 10 2.1 4 0 0 0 3 0 4.86 Entered the game in the bottom of the 2nd with a runner on second, two out, and Round Rock down 9-1.
Junichi Tazawa BOS DNP                      
Koji Uehara BOS DNP                      
Tsuyoshi Wada BAL DL                     Scheduled to make minor league rehab start at Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday. [Baltimore Sun 5/13/2013]

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Wei-Ying Chen (Baltimore) was placed on the 15-day DL on Tuesday. From an AP report posted at ESPN:

"It's one of those things that's tough to handicap the severity of it," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "There's three grades, and I think his was in the middle. If you look at the history of these things, it gives you the idea that it is a little later than sooner. We'll take whatever comes our way."

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Scouts from at least six MLB teams -- Yankees, Rangers, Mariners, Giants, Rays, A's -- were at Tuesday night's Rakuten-Yokohama game at Yokohama Stadium.

Source: Sanspo 5/15/2013

[5/13/2013] Munenori Kawasaki, Hiroki Kuroda, Kyuji Fujikawa, Hiroyuki Nakajima

by on May.13, 2013 @ 2:09 pm, under MLB
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From May 12:

Hitters

Player Tm Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG Other
Norichika Aoki MIL MIL 1 @ CIN 5 RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .288 Batted lead-off. Ks, L8, G6, G1.
Hiroyuki Nakajima OAK SRC 6 @ NAS 5 SS 5 0 2 0 0 0   .250 Batted second. 1B9, 1B5, Fo3, F7, G6.
Munenori Kawasaki TOR TOR 12 @ BOS 4 SS 3 1 1 2 1 1 0 .250 Batted ninth. 1B9 (two RBI), F4, BB (SB, R), Ks.
Ichiro Suzuki NYY NYY 4 @ KCA 2 RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .263 Batted fifth. G1, G1, Ks, F7.
Kensuke Tanaka SF FRE 7 @ MRB 4 2B 6 1 1 0 0 1   .349 Batted lead-off. 1B8 (R), F8, L1, Ks, G3, G5 (force).

Pitchers

Player Tm Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Other
Yu Darvish TEX DNP                     Next start: May 16 vs Tigers.
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC CHC 2 @ WSH 1 12-8 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 8.53 Entered the game in the bottom of the 7th with Chicago down 1-0.
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA DNP                     Next start: May 15 vs Yankees.
Hiroki Kuroda NYY NYY 4 @ KCA 2 98-66 30 7.2 6 2 2 1 1 0 2.31 Left the game with a 4-2 lead and a runner on second and two out in the bottom of the 8th. (W, 5-2).
Daisuke Matsuzaka CLE DNP                      
Toru Murata CLE DNP                      
Hideki Okajima OAK DNP                      
Hisanori Takahashi CHC IOW 8 @ REN 9 17-8 3 0.1 1 1 1 1 1 1 5.63 Entered the game in the bottom of the 8th with Iowa up 8-5. (H, 2).
Yoshinori Tateyama TEX RRE 6 @ TUC 7 15-8 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0 5.65 Entered the game in the bottom of the 8th with Round Rock up 6-2.
Junichi Tazawa BOS DNP                      
Koji Uehara BOS DNP                      
Tsuyoshi Wada BAL DL                      

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Former Chunichi Dragon Wei-Ying Chen left his start on Sunday with an oblique strain. From MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli:

Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen exited the series finale against the Twins with a right oblique strain after tossing five scoreless innings, putting a damper on another impressive Baltimore road win.

... But the good vibes that went along with another double-digit hit effort and a trio of homers was lost when Chen walked off the mound, grabbing his side following Eduardo Escobar's groundout to end the fifth. Oblique strains almost always require a trip to the disabled list and Chen -- the only Orioles pitcher to start 20 games last year -- has been arguably the team's best starter.

"I don't think that happens," Chen, through interpreter Tim Lin, said of going on the DL. "It's not that serious to me. I think it's just a cramp and we'll see what's going to happen tomorrow. We will re-evaluate tomorrow, and hopefully it's just a cramp."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter echoed that optimism and wasn't ready to count out Chen, who said postgame he wasn't in any pain.

1/13/2013: Norichika Aoki, Koji Uehara, Yu Darvish

by on Jan.13, 2013 @ 10:40 pm, under MLB
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Norichika Aoki (Milwaukee) is currently working out in Okinawa.  He said to reporters, "My workload has increased since the start of the year.  Things are progressing well. ... Generally speaking, I would like to bat over .300 with an OBP over .400.  I need to become that kind of player."  Source: Nikkan Sports 1/13/2013

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Koji Uehara (Boston) visited Miyako, Iwate on Saturday and participated in baseball clinic for about 300 youths.  He also spoke to reporters and said that he wanted to play baseball as long as teams were interested in him.  And if MLB teams lose interest, then the NPB will become an option.  Source: Nikkan Sports 1/13/2013, Nikkan Sports 1/13/2013

Uehara has been working on his slider.  Source: Sponichi 1/13/2013

===

Yu Darvish attended Texas Rangers Fan Fest on Friday.  He not only spent time signing autographs, but also appeared on stage for a talk session that included answering about ten questions from a reporter.

Without an interpreter.

Darvish did get stuck on one word: shout out.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/13/2013

It seems Darvish will also have a personal catcher this year.  From ESPN's Richard Durrett:

Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish will have a personal catcher this season, as manager Ron Washington indicated his plan is for Geovany Soto to catch most of Darvish's starts.

... "I just think they had a good communication and a good relationship. I think Soto was in Darvish's head to the point that whatever Darvish felt like he wanted to do, Soto was doing it. They meshed very well. Soto had a way of relaxing a lot of pitchers he caught, not only Yu Darvish. I don't know much Japanese Soto knows, but he went out there and said something. I don't know if Yu understood, but it relaxed him."

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Hiroyuki Nakajima is scheduled to attend Oakland A's 2013 FanFest.

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Wei-Ying Chen will apparently miss the World Baseball Classic.  From the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly:

Duquette said it is his understanding that lefty starter Wei-Yin Chen will not pitch for Chinese Taipei.

"Based on Chen pitching in the Japan Series in 2011 and [192 2/3 innings] for us last year, we would prefer that he attends spring training for us and prepares for the season," Duquette said.

10/9/2012: Wei-Ying Chen, Ichiro Suzuki

by on Oct.09, 2012 @ 3:09 pm, under MLB
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Games from October 8:

Baltimore Orioles 3 - New York Yankees 2 [Daily SportsDaily Sports]
Ichiro Suzuki (NYY) started in left and batted second.  He went 1-for-5: reaches on fielding E3 (run scored), infield single, ground out to the pitcher, ground out to short (reached on force; stole second), ground out to second. [SponichiSponichi, Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports]

Wei-Ying Chen (BAL) started the game and gave up two runs (one earned) over 6.1 innings of work.  He got the win and is 1-0.  Final line: 6.1 IP, 112-77 NP-S, 29 BF, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR. [Sponichi, Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports]

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Hiroki Kuroda (NYY) threw thirty-six pitches in the bullpen on Sunday in preparation for his start on October 10.  Source: Sponichi 10/9/2012

10/7/2012: Wei-Ying Chen, Hiroki Kuroda

by on Oct.08, 2012 @ 2:03 am, under MLB
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Hiroki Kuroda (NYY) will start Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesdsay.  From MLB.com's Bryan Hoch and Gregor Chisholm:

Girardi said that the Yankees are setting their rotation to have right-hander Hiroki Kuroda pitch Game 3 at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Phil Hughes would pitch Game 4, if necessary, and Game 1 starter CC Sabathia would be available for a potential Game 5.

"We just felt that the extra rest would probably help [Kuroda]," Girardi said. "He would have been on his normal turn. We thought the extra rest would help him."

Kuroda was 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA in 33 starts this year for New York, but showed some signs of fatigue down the stretch as he completed a team-leading 219 2/3 innings -- his heaviest workload since coming to the Major Leagues.

"I'm really thankful and grateful for [Girardi's] consideration and I hope I can meet his expectations," Kuroda said through an interpreter. "I'm just hoping to be in the best mental and physical condition as possible for that game."

===

Wei-Ying Chen (BAL) is slated to start Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees on Monday.  From MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli and Andrew Simon:

Chen, who last pitched Monday in St. Petersburg against the Rays, has a 4.39 ERA in 16 starts on regular rest, an ERA that drops to 2.28 when he gets six or more days of rest. The 26-year-old lefty, signed out of Japan this winter, is 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in four starts against the Yankees and will face them for Monday's home game, which is slated to start at 8:07 p.m. ET on TBS.

A pleasant surprise for the starting staff, Chen helped anchor an uncertain rotation with starter Jason Hammel sidelined by a right knee injury. Still, Chen has struggled down the stretch, posting a 5.05 ERA in six September/October starts, the worst ERA in an otherwise impressive rookie campaign.

Given that Chen is used to pitching on five days' rest in Japan, the Orioles tried to push him back whenever possible this season in hopes of keeping him fresh and easing the transition to the Major Leagues.

10/2/2012: Norichika Aoki, Ichiro Suzuki, Wei-Ying Chen

by on Oct.02, 2012 @ 4:00 pm, under NPB
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Games from October 1:

New York Yankees 10 - Boston Red Sox 2
Ichiro Suzuki (NYY) started in left and batted second.  He went 1-for-4: ground out to second, single to right (run scored), ground out to second, ground out to first.  Ichiro shifted from left to right in the top of the 8th.  He was later replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 8th. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Sponichi, Sponichi, Daily Sports, Daily Sports, Daily Sports]

Oakland A's 4 - Texas Rangers 3
Koji Uehara (TEX) entered the game in the bottom of the 7th, with the Rangers down 4-3, and tossed a shutout inning in relief. Final line: 1 IP, 14-9 NP-S, 4 BF, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR.  Uehara has not allowed a run over his last thirteen relief appearances. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, Sponichi]

Milwaukee Brewers 5 - San Diego Padres 3
Norichika Aoki (MIL) started in right and batted first.  He went 3-for-4: infield single (picked off and caught stealing second), infield single, single to right (stole second; run scored), ground out to second. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Sponichi, Daily Sports]

Tampa Bay Rays 5 - Baltimore Orioles 3
Wei-Ying Chen (BAL) got the start and gave up four runs (one earned) over 6.2 innings of work.  He took the loss and is 12-11.  Final line: 6.2 IP, 101-71 NP-S, 27 BF, 6 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR. [Nikkan Sports]

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Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) threw thirty-one pitches in the bullpen on Monday in preparation for his start on Tuesday.  Source: Nikkan Sports 10/2/2012

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The MLB published a list of the top twenty most popular jersey since the All-Star break, based on sales of Majestic herseys.  Ichiro Suzuki (NYY) and Yu Darvish (TEX) both cracked the top ten -- Ichiro at third and Darvish at seventh.  Source: MLB.com 10/1/2012

9/25/2012: Ichiro Suzuki, Koji Uehara, Wei-Ying Chen

by on Sep.25, 2012 @ 4:09 pm, under MLB
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Games from September 24:

New York Yankees 6 - Minnesota Twins 3
Ichiro Suzuki (NYY) started in right and batted second.  He went 1-for-5: double to right (run scored), line out to center, line out to short, fly out to left, ground out to short (reaches on FC).  Ichiro extended his hitting streak to eight games. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Daily SportsDaily SportsDaily Sports, SponichiSponichi, Sponichi]

New York Mets 6 - Pittsburgh Pirates 2
Hisanori Takahashi (PIT) entered the game in the bottom 5th -- runners on first and second, one out, Pirates down 2-0 -- and retired the one batter he faced.  Final line: 0.1 IP, 3-2 NP-S, 1 BF, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR.  [Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports]

Texas Rangers 5 - Oakland A's 4
Koji Uehara (TEX) entered the game in the top of the 7th, with the Rangers down 4-2, and tossed a shutout inning in relief. Final line: 1 IP, 14-8 NP-S, 3 BF, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR. [Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, Sponichi]

Washington Nationals 12 - Milwaukee Brewers 2
Norichika Aoki (MIL) started in right and batted first.  He went 0-for-4: strikeout swinging, bunt ground out to catcher (batter interference), strikeout swinging, fly out to left.  Aoki also committed a fielding error (3) in the bottom of the 8th. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, Sponichi]

Toronto Blue Jays 9 - Baltimore Orioles 5 Game 2 doubleheader
Wei-Ying Chen (BAL) started the game and gave up five runs (all earned) over five innings of work.  He took the loss and is 12-10.  Final line: 5 IP, 82-54 NP-S, 26 BF, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 2 HR, 1 HBP. [Nikkan Sports]

===

Ichiro Suzuki (NYY) was named AL Player of the Week.  From MLB.com's Andrew Simon:

Suzuki hit safely in all six contests, with five multi-hit efforts, as New York went 5-1 to maintain a one-game edge over Baltimore for the AL East lead. Overall, the 10-time All-Star batted .600 (15-for-25) with three doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, seven runs scored and six stolen bases. He led the Majors in batting average and steals, as well as on-base percentage (.630).

... He is hitting .331 with an .837 OPS, five homers and 12 steals in 57 games for the Yankees.

9/19/2012: Norichika Aoki, Yoshinori Tateyama, Junichi Tazawa

by on Sep.19, 2012 @ 2:41 pm, under MLB
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Games from September 18:

Boston Red Sox 7 - Tampa Bay Rays 5
Junichi Tazawa (BOS) entered the game in the bottom of the 7th -- bases loaded, two out, Boston up 7-3 -- and gave up an two-run single to Ben Zobrist before getting Evan Longoria to ground out to short for the final out of the inning.  Final line: 0.1 IP, 11-6 NP-S, 2 BF, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR. [Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, Sponichi]

LA Angels 11 - Texas Rangers 3
Yoshinori Tateyama (TEX) entered the game in the bottom of the 5th, with the Rangers down 9-3, and gave up a run (earned) over an inning of work.  Final line: 1 IP, 23-12 NP-S, 5 BF, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR. [Nikkan Sports, Sponichi, Daily Sports]

Milwaukee Brewers 6 - Pittsburgh Pirates 0
Norichika Aoki (MIL) started in right and batted first.  He went 2-for-3: HBP (stole second), RBI single to left, single to right, ground out to the pitcher, sac fly to left.  Aoki extended his hitting streak to eight games. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, SponichiSponichi]

Baltimore Orioles 4 - Seattle Mariners 2 (18 innings) [Sponichi]
Wei-Ying Chen (BAL) started the game and gave up two runs (both earned) over 5.1 innings of work.  He was not involved in the decision.  Final line: 5.1 IP, 103-72 NP-S, 24 BF, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR.

Munenori Kawasaki (SEA) entered the game as a defensive replacement at short in the top of the 10th inning and was later replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 11th. [Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports]

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Hiroki Kuroda's (NYY) next start will be pushed back a day to September 23 because of Tuesday's rain-out.  Source: Sponichi 9/19/2012

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Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) threw thirty-three pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday in preparation for his next start on Friday.  Source: Nikkan Sports 9/19/2012

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Yu Darish (TEX) threw thirty-five pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday in preparation for his next start  on Thursday.  Darvish has a shot at becoming for the first Japanese pitcher to win more than fifteen games in their first year in the Majors.  Source: Nikkan Sports 9/19/2012

9/14/2012: Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Wei-Ying Chen

by on Sep.14, 2012 @ 2:56 pm, under MLB
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Games from September 13:

New York Yankees 2 - Boston Red Sox 0
Ichiro Suzuki (NYY) entered the game as a defensive replacement in right in the bottom of the 8th.  He did not have a chance to swing the batt. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan SportsDaily Sports, SponichiSponichi]

Junichi Tazawa (BOS) entered the game in the top of the 7th -- runners on first and second, one out, Boston down 1-0 -- and allowed an inherited runner to score on a single by Derek Jeter before striking out Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez to end the inning.  Final line: 0.2 IP, 17-10 NP-S, 3 BF, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR. [Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, Sponichi]

Cleveland Indians 5 - Texas Rangers 4
Koji Uehara (TEX) entered the game in the top of the 9th -- runner on second, no out, Rangers down 5-4 -- and retired all three batters he faced.  Final line: 1 IP, 11-9 NP-S, 3 BF, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR. [Nikkan Sports, Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports, Sponichi]

Baltimore Orioles 3 - Tampa Bay Rays 2
Wei-Ying Chen (BAL) started the game and gave up two runs (both earned) over 7.1 innings of work.  He was not involved in the decision.  Final line: 7.1 IP, 106-79 NP-S, 30 BF, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR. [Sanspo]

Toronto Blue Jays 8 - Seattle Mariners 3
Munenori Kawasaki (SEA) entered the game as a defensive replacement at second in the bottom of the 7th inning.  He grounded out to short during his sole at bat in the top of the 9th. [Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports]

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Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS) turned thirty-two on Thursday.

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Norichika Aoki (MIL) became the eighth Japanese player to reach the minimum plate appearances to qualify for leadership in various offensive categories in his first year.  Source: Nikkan Sports 9/14/2012