Hideki Irabu, 10 days away from his highly anticipated debut for the New York Yankees, endured another shaky minor league outing Monday night before his fastball came to the rescue.
Pitching for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, the Japanese right-hander was rocked for four runs and eight hits by the Rochester Red Wings.
“There are a lot of things I have to learn from tonight,” Irabu said through an interpreter.
Columbus was ahead 6-4 when Irabu completed five innings of work, but ended up losing 8-7.
Signed by the Yankees in May for $12.8 million over four years, Irabu is slated to make his first major league start against Detroit in Yankee Stadium on July 10.
Before a sellout crowd of 13,485 at Frontier Field, Irabu threw 95 pitches, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. Once again, however, he was called for two balks, one allowing an unearned run.
“I’ve got to work on balks,” said Irabu, who has committed seven balks in his five minor league starts.
He got off to a rocky start, giving up singles to the first three batters and allowing three earned runs in the inning.
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