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June 22, 2017

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Wang pitches to debut triple-A victory after Yankees re-signing

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's Chien-Ming Wang led a New York Yankees minor league side to a 5-3 victory Saturday in the first game of a four-part series against the Syracuse Chiefs by throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

The win brought Wang, 33, one step closer to a return to the major league. He threw 74 pitches, including 51 strikes, yielded six hits, and struck out three to help triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders win the game.

Wang's real threat came on the top of the third inning, when he allowed two consecutive singles after two outs. He worked his way out of the jam by striking out the next batter with a changeup.

"He threw the ball well," catcher Bobby Wilson said of Wang in a report on the Scranton Times Tribune. "He threw strikes, his sinker was working, he used both sides of the plate. He was pretty sharp, taking it into the sixth (inning)," Wilson said.

Wang did not surrender any walk in the outing and induced a good amount of ground outs, 9 to go with just 2 fly outs.

Speaking at a postgame conference, Wang said his team's three runs in first inning helped him to relax and focus on the game.

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

Although Syracuse Chiefs scored three runs after Wang was retired, he said he was not worried about the final result as it was part of the fun of baseball.

Wang said he was fairly satisfied with his pitching for the game and he only wanted to focus on reaching his best form without thinking too much about returning to the major league.

Wang led the Yankees in back-to-back 19-win seasons in 2006 and 2007. From 2005 to 2009, he had a 55-26 record and an ERA of 4.16 with the club.

He suffered a foot injury running the bases against the Houston Astros in June 2008, and his first stint with the Yankees ended in 2009 when shoulder problems left him ineffective and eventually required surgery.

He pitched for the Washington Nationals for three years, sitting out 2010 while recovering from shoulder surgery, before being released at the end of the 2012 season.

He had 6-6 with a 4.94 ERA in 21 games (16 starts) in 2011 and 2012, as injuries continued to hold him back.

After he was released last year by the Washington Nationals, Wang signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees in late March.

According to the contract, Wang's monthly salary in the minor league is US$30,000. If he is promoted to the majors he will receive an annual salary of around US$2.5 million.

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