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Chien-Ming Wang solid in first start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

04/20/2013 11:13 PM ET
By Josh Horton

Chien-Ming Wang threw 5 1/3 innings of shutout base ball in his first Triple-A start of the season for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.(AP)
Chien-Ming Wang won 19 games for the New York Yankees in both 2006 and 2007.

Now, at age 33, Wang is hoping he can get back on the Yankee Stadium mound sooner rather than later.

The 6'4 right-hander out of Tainan City, Taiwan took a step in the right direction in his first start for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Saturday evening at PNC Field. He tossed 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, while striking out three, walking none, and allowing six hits.

Wang worked his way out of a big jam in the top half of the third inning. He surrendered back-to-back two out singles off the bats of Syracuse Chiefs Will Rhymes and Jeff Kobernus.

He worked his way out of the two on, two out jam by fooling Mike Costanzo with a filthy changeup for an inning ending strikeout.

"I was trying to throw the curveball more and changeup and hopefully it can get better again," Wang said in a postgame press conference.

The former New York Yankee credited the RailRiders three-run first inning to his success in game one of a doubleheader. Pitching with the lead from the beginning helped him relax and focus on his game.

"It's better than it being 0-0," Wang said. "I could focus on pitching my game and control everything."

His control was definitely there, as he didn't surrender one walk in the outing. He did however allow two hard hit balls right back up the middle. More evidence to his ability to control his changeup was he worked 10 groundouts to just two fly outs. He did get the win as the RailRiders held on for the 5-3 victory.

Wang said prior to his start with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he had been throwing every three days in Tampa. He started with 40 pitches per outing, then 50, then 60, and finally made his first appearance in a game since pitching for Chinese Taipei in the World Baseball Classic back in March.

He made two starts in the WBC going 1-0 with a 0.00 in 12 innings on the bump. His lone win came in the opener against Australia.

He made it to 74 pitches before Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley made the call to the bullpen. He left the game with one out and one on and Preston Claiborne got out of the inning to keep Wang's line intact.

The New York Yankees signed Wang to a minor league contract on March 23, 2013. With a full rotation in New York, Chien-Ming will more than likely stay in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for the time being.

He has a career record of 61-32 over seven MLB seasons with a career ERA of 4.26 in 120 Major League starts between his time in New York and Washington.

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