Iwakuma getting adjusted to bullpen role

Iwakuma getting adjusted to bullpen role

CLEVELAND -- Hisashi Iwakuma has only pitched in four of Seattle's first 39 games, receiving sporadic use as the team's long reliever. The former starter in Japan seems to be getting more adjusted to the role, and he pitched four innings of one-run ball in Wednesday's 9-3 loss.

"I can make a routine, so I'm getting used to it," Iwakuma said through translator Daisuke Sekiba. "It's better each time."

Iwakuma never pitched in relief in Japan, where he was one of the premier starters over the past decade. His history as a starter has him ready to pitch more, if needed.

"I just only pitched four innings, but I feel stronger every time," he said. "I can pitch four, five, six more innings. If I have a chance, I'd like to pitch more innings than I did this time."

But manager Eric Wedge was pleased with what he saw from the 30-year-old, whose ERA is now down to 5.25 after a rough start.

"He saved our bullpen, gave us four strong innings, only gave up the run on the solo shot, threw the ball well," said Wedge. "He was still strong there even into that last inning. He was holding on to the velocity on his fastball. He hadn't been out there in about a week, but I thought he did a great job."