Matsuzaka struck out two and gave up just one walk and no runs, a positive jump from his previous two outings with Pawtucket. Saturday was his first game since he received a cortisone shot in his right trapezius muscle, around the shoulder and neck, on May 20.
"Daisuke used his fastball most of the time. He had much better command of it," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He felt good during and after the performance."
Pawtucket defeated the Tigers' Triple-A team, Toledo, 8-5.
Triple-A manager Arnie Beyeler and pitching coach Rich Sauveur told Valentine that Matsuzaka's mechanics were "much better" and that Matsuzaka was throwing 92 mph.
Matsuzaka has 30 days, including Saturday, to pitch in Minor League games, and he is going to be on a five-day schedule. That puts his next start on Thursday at home against Norfolk.
Matsuzaka already went through a 30-day stretch that ended on May 22 as he came back from Tommy John surgery. He's able to have another 30 days because a different injury situation arose, leading to the cortisone shot.