Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched two hitless innings in a minor-league game Sunday morning, then threw a bonus inning with runners placed on base.
He did not allow a hit, walked one, was backed by two double-plays and sat on 88 to 91 on the radar gun, according to pitching coach John Farrell.
"His intensity was clearly improved by his batting practice session,'' Farrell told reporters afterward. "Another positive step for Daisuke.''
Farrell said that Matsuzaka will be placed on a five-day rotation after Thursday, and was hopeful to get him up to 95 pitches before he breaks camp.
When will he be able to pitch in the regular season?
"Too early to tell that,'' Farrell said.