Wang pitches five innings in rehab start at Single-A

Updated: April 20, 2007, 12:04 AM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees right-hander Chien-Ming Wang allowed three runs and five hits over five innings in a rehab start for Class-A Tampa on Thursday night.

It was Wang's second outing since he hurt his right hamstring while running on March 23. The 19-game winner is expected to rejoin the Yankees' rotation for his first start of the season Tuesday at Tampa Bay.

"He's ready to go," Yankees vice president Billy Connors said. "The main thing at this time is the pitch count and he got to 74, then he went down to the bullpen and threw an extra 15. He's fine. He's throwing all his pitches. He's got them all going for him."

Pitching against Fort Myers, Wang struck out four and walked one. He threw 47 strikes.

Wang cruised through two innings before struggling in Fort Myers' three-run third. He threw 26 pitches during the inning, when the Miracle had three straight hits after a two-out walk.

"He got the ball up and the guy hit over the center fielder's head," Connors said. "That thing happens. Kids, they don't even know who he is. They just swing the bats and he just happen to hit a few bats."

Wang responded in the fourth with a 10-pitch fourth that included a broken-bat bloop single.

The right-hander didn't allow a hit over five scoreless innings in an extended spring training game last Saturday.

Injured Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui worked out with Tampa in preparation for rehab games with the Florida State League team Friday and Saturday. Matsui, on the disabled list since April 8 with a strained left hamstring, expects to rejoin the Yankees when eligible to come off the DL Monday.

"Yes, that's the plan," Matsui said through an interpreter.

Matsui was hurt running out a grounder on April 7. He ran the bases, took fly balls and hit eight homers on 49 swings in batting practice Thursday.

When asked if the hamstring was 100 percent, Matsui said "I think it's very close."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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