Masahiro Tanaka returned from a minor concussion on Saturday to get the first start of the season, but didn’t take the decision into account as his New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2.
After throwing 51 pitches over 2-2/3 innings at the Yankee Stadium, Tanaka made a scheduled exit from the mound, bringing in two runs, one win, four hits and a three-stroke walk.
The Japanese right-hander actually put the liner on his head before the start of the season late, and ended his seventh year with a minor concussion and a major injury list major.
“I was excited to come back to this place again,” said Tanaka. “I didn’t have any problems (because of the injury). Focused on the momentum of the ball and threw the pitch rather than the inside or outside.”
Among other Japanese pitchers playing on Saturday, Kenta Maeda (2-0) fueled six innings with a score of 6 or more in the target field, as the Minnesota Twins blanked the Cleveland Indians 3-0 and his 2 I have won a streak.
“My pitch was good and I was able to control them all equally and get a strike out,” Maeda said. “It’s important to be able to pitch well at home.”
Maeda joined the Twins in February after four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
At T-Mobile Park, Yuki Kikuchi made 9 innings out of 6 and Seattle Mariners lost to Auckland Athletics 3-2, making no decision.
Kikuchi abandoned 3 hits and 1 walk in the second start of the year, and the athletics drew the match with Chad Pinder’s second run explosion.