MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka will remain on a five-day schedule after making his first Minor League rehab start Monday. Coming back from Tommy John surgery last year, Matsuzaka is set to pitch on Saturday for Double-A Portland in a 1 p.m. ET game against the Reading Phillies in Portland, Maine.
Matsuzaka's expected to throw 80 pitches. Double-A hitters are an upgrade from the Class A batters Matsuzaka faced Monday, when he threw 58 pitches over four innings for the Salem Red Sox in Virginia. Matsuzaka allowed three runs on six hits, including two solo home runs. He struck out three in a 7-2 loss against the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
"He threw a lot of strikes with his fastball, felt real good, first home run supposedly was wind-blown, next one was legit," manager Bobby Valentine said. "[He] felt good when it was all over and is ready to progress. Next start will be in Double A. ... They're home, Double-A's home, that's why he'll be there for that next start."
On the big league club, Daniel Bard remains in line to start Friday against the White Sox in Chicago. Bard, who last started April 16, pitched in relief Monday in part to help a struggling bullpen and in part to keep him fresh with 10 days between starts.