Former Mets pitcher Ishii returns to Japan

Updated: January 20, 2006, 9:40 AM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- Former New York Mets pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii is returning to Japan after four seasons in the major leagues.

Ishii, who was released by the Mets in December, agreed to a two-year contract on Friday with the Central League's Yakult Swallows, team officials said.

Ishii, 32, played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2002-2004, compiling a 36-25 record. He was 3-9 in 19 games for the Mets last season.

Before leaving for the majors, Ishii played for the Swallows and had a 78-46 record with a 3.38 ERA and 1,277 strikeouts in 244 games over 10 seasons in Japan.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press