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Igawa makes first career road start

Igawa makes first career road start

They say you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, but Kei Igawa is hoping Yankees fans give him a mulligan for his shaky Major League debut.

Igawa, a 27-year-old Japanese import, makes the first road start of his career on Friday at Oakland's McAfee Coliseum, opposing right-hander Dan Haren.

"I'm going to do my best to do my job and make sure I have my game plan," Igawa said through an interpreter.

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The weather conditions figure to be far more favorable than in Igawa's debut Saturday, when his first offering was thrown in 39-degree temperatures and Igawa had surrendered seven runs and eight hits by the time his 97-pitch effort was complete.

"My style of pitching in Japan was to get strikes early in the count," Igawa said. "I hope to be able to do that, because I wasn't able to do it the first time around."

Yankees pitching coach Ron Guidry suggested that Igawa had no second pitch to work off in his outing against the Orioles -- something he hoped was remedied by the time the club's plane touched down in California.

Guidry said that Igawa had fallen into the bad habit of cutting off his secondary pitches, which left them flat and identifiable to hitters, who let them pass and sat on Igawa's mid-to-high 80s fastball.

"Until he does it constantly, all the time, he's going to struggle," Guidry said. "That's the secret to every pitcher."

Pitching matchup
NYY: LHP Kei Igawa (0-0, 12.60 ERA)
Igawa may be a rookie in the big leagues, but he's no stranger to pitching against solid competition. The left-hander was 14-9 with a 2.97 ERA in 29 starts for the Hanshin Tigers last season in Japan, and was a three-time strikeout leader in the Central League.

OAK: RHP Dan Haren (0-2, 0.69 ERA)
Haren is 3-0 in five career starts against the Yankees with an ERA of 2.76. He has struck out 28 batters in 33 2/3 innings against the Bombers. He made three starts against them last year, going 2-0, including a six-hitter at Yankee Stadium on May 14, when he allowed one run and struck out six.

Player to watch
While no A's player has seen Igawa yet, Milton Bradley has already made it known that he's having no trouble handling southpaws this season. Bradley is 3-for-5 with a home run against left-handers so far in 2007.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• YES

On radio
• WCBS-AM 880 AM, WZAA-FM 92.3 FM (Espa?ol)

Up next
• Saturday: Yankees (RHP Carl Pavano, 1-0, 4.76) at Athletics (RHP Joe Blanton, 1-0, 3.97), 9:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Yankees (LHP Andy Pettitte, 1-0, 1.64) at Athletics (RHP Rich Harden, 1-1, 1.38), 4:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Indians (RHP Jake Westbrook, 0-1, 7.36) at Yankees (RHP Darrell Rasner, 0-1, 10.38), 7:05 p.m. ET

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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