Boston Red Sox: Dice-K Dominant in Second Rehab Start, Strikes out 7 in Double-A

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IApril 28, 2012

Dice-K in action for Portland on Saturday.
Dice-K in action for Portland on Saturday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is making good progress as he works to return to the Boston Red Sox after undergoing Tommy John surgery last June. 

Matsuzaka's first start was not particularly impressive, but he rebounded nicely Saturday afternoon.

In his first rehab game last week with High-A Salem, he allowed three runs in four innings and threw 57 pitches. On Saturday he took the mound for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and looked dominant.

Matsuzaka threw 74 pitches in 4.2 innings. He allowed three hits, one earned run and struck out seven, while only walking two.

His only run was on a long fly ball that was misplayed and resulted in a triple. He responded by striking out the next batter, but was pulled when he walked the following.

The only negative of the outing was that 30 of his 74 pitches were balls. In his first outing he threw 57 pitches and 17 balls.

It was another step in his recovery for the Red Sox, who could certainly use his contributions at the big league level.

Matsuzaka is scheduled to make three more starts in the minors and be back in the majors on or around May 23rd.

Although it was against a Double-A team, the Red Sox have to be happy with the results.

If he remains healthy and continues to pitch as dominant as he did on Saturday, then the Red Sox can look forward to an important piece of their rotation joining the club again.