BOSTON Daisuke Matsuzaka struggled in his fourth rehab outing as he continues to try to make his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Matsuzaka, who underwent surgery in June, went 5 13 innings for Pawtucket, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, with five strikeouts, two home runs, and a hit batter.
He threw 90 pitches, 54 strikes. He left with the PawSox trailing, but the Pawtucket offense saved him from a loss, pulling out a win over Columbus.
Manager Bobby Valentine watched a tape of Matsuzakas outing.
I didn't think he was as good as he should be, Valentine said. His mechanic wasnt very good at all I didnt think. But hes throwing pain-free so thats good.
Were going to review it today. And that was just my opinion obviously, just watching a little TV.
Matsuzaka is on a 30-day rehab assignment and would have to be activated May 23. Valentine said the right-hander is expected to make two more rehab starts, on May 17 and 22, to get his whole thing together.
Matsuzaka has made four rehab outings one with High-A Salem, another with Double-A Portland, and two with Pawtucket. He has posted a combined record of 0-1 with a 4.34 ERA, giving up nine earned runs over 18 23 innings, with four home runs, six walks, and 19 strikeouts. Opponents have hit .254 off him.
Ive been watching his starts, Valentine said. Right now, hes worried about his strength and his ability to endure pitches and things like that. Hell take another start.
Matsuzaka is the final season of a six-year contract.