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"He had the curveball going early in the game, and later on he had that changeup that kept us off-balance," Benny Agbayani said. "He had an advantage because this was the first time we've seen him. But now that we've seen what he's got, we can make our adjustments off of that the next time."
Ishii (1-0), the second Japanese-born pitcher in Dodgers history, allowed two hits and struck out 10 in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. In his final spring tuneup last Sunday at Seattle, he surrendered five runs, five hits and seven walks in 2 1-3 innings.
"The biggest difference was my concentration level," Ishii said through a translator. "Virtually all my teammates came up to me after that game and gave me encouragement. And for them, I wanted to win this game."
Kreuter said the ball was slick from the low humidity and slipping out of his pitcher's hand, even though Ishii spent 20 minutes during batting practice throwing to a catcher in left field.
"He did a great job controlling the damage," Kreuter said of Ishii. "When a pitcher is scuffling like that, you have to be creative. After the third inning, I thought it was time to make some changes, so I made him throw the splitter and he got some big outs with it and got a better feel on his other pitches.
"He steamrolled with the splitter and it made his fastball better. In his first two starts, he dominated, but today he had to pitch. Today he wiggled out of some situations and really pitched."
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