Fujikawa Suffers Through Awful Inning

When the Texas Rangers signed veteran Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa this winter, it was done hoping they could get him to rediscover his form that made him a really good reliever and closer in both Japan and with the Cubs before he had to undergo Tommy John surgery.

And for much of this spring, it's looked as if the signing could pay dividends with Fujikawa possibly being able to once again perform in the back end of a big-league bullpen.

One game is one game, especially in the spring, but Tuesday's outing for Fujikawa was about as bad as they come.

The veteran failed to record an out while facing five batters as the Rangers gave up eight runs in the ninth inning to lose a split-squad game to the Cubs, 15-10. Prior to Tuesday's outing, he had retired 21 of the 25 batters he'd faced this spring.

''There was a lot of positives, discounting the ninth inning,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister told the Associated Press. ''I felt like the fastball got away from Fuji. I felt like one ball got hit well off him. The walk in the inning is what got him, I believe. It started to snowball from there on him. After the triple, I felt it was time to get him out.''

At this point, Fujikawa has a spot on the Opening Day roster, especially with Shawn Tolleson and Tanner Scheppers both likely to start the season on the disabled list.

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