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Tazawa continues impressive spring

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa saw some familiar faces on Saturday, and the right-hander enjoyed some similar results.

Tazawa threw a clean fourth inning in Miami's 4-2 win over the Astros at The Ballpark of The Palm Beaches, running his scoreless-innings streak to four in Spring Training.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa saw some familiar faces on Saturday, and the right-hander enjoyed some similar results.

Tazawa threw a clean fourth inning in Miami's 4-2 win over the Astros at The Ballpark of The Palm Beaches, running his scoreless-innings streak to four in Spring Training.

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Every time out in Grapefruit League play this spring, Tazawa has been efficient.

It was more of the same against the Astros, as he retired George Springer on a line drive to left field, and got Marwin Gonzalez to bounce into a routine out at first base. The inning ended when he retired Josh Reddick on a comeback grounder.

Tazawa and Reddick are former teammates with the Red Sox, whose Minor League system developed Tazawa.

"They're all great batters," Tazawa said through his interpreter. "Being able to face them is great practice."

This spring, Tazawa has struck out three, allowed one hit and one walk in four innings.

"We're just getting him built up," manager Don Mattingly said. "You want to see him do well, and he's throwing the ball well. That's always a bonus. We always talk about, let the guy get his work, and you're not really worried about the results in spring, but it is nice when they're having success. It's good for their confidence."

The Marlins signed Tazawa to a two-year deal in December, and he will mix into the back end of a deep bullpen. Because of his forkball, he is a candidate to face left-handed hitters, as well as righties.

"I'm still working on things, obviously," Tazawa said. "I'm getting really close to regular-season form, but now it's a matter of maintaining this performance."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Junichi Tazawa