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Matsuzaka courts disaster but gets out of jams

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 5, 2013

   SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.: Daisuke Matsuzaka spent most of his three innings extricating himself from trouble, but in the end he allowed no runs and five hits as the Indians beat the Giants 4-3 at today at Scottsdale Stadium.
  Matsuzaka loaded the bases with one out in the first, but got out of the jam when Brandon Belt flied out, and Ryan Raburn threw out Kensuke Tanaka at the plate. With two on and one out in the second, Matsuzaka induced Hector Sanchez to bounce into a double play.
   “”There was a lot of luck to my outing today,’’ Matsuzaka said through a translator. “”But it’s important for me to get out of those kinds of jams.
   Added manager Terry Francona, “”What Dice-K can do is put men on base then get out of it. There’s no panic in him.’’
   Matsuzaka’s fastball was clocked mostly at 87-88 and occasionally touched 90.
   “”I thought I was throwing about that,’’ he said. “”More important than my velocity is that I felt like I was throwing faster. I am also getting my cutter closer to my fastball speed, and that’s another step forward.’’
   Nick Swisher hit his second home run of the spring and Juan Diaz hit his first, but it was Roberto Perez’s ninth inning homer that won it.
   “”The biggest thing for this team is to find its identity,’’ Swisher said. “”We have a lot of new guys here. Tito (Francona) doesn’t have many rules, but he does like us to be fundamentally sound.’’
  

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