The Washington Times - July 7, 2011, 08:57PM

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Washington Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang needed only 43 pitches to take a significant step in his rehabilitation Thursday night.

Wang scattered two hits over five scoreless innings for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators against the Erie Wolves at Metro Bank Park in his third rehabilitation start.

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No, these aren’t the big leagues. But Wang, who hasn’t pitched there since 2009, showed positive signs with a fastball that repeatedly surpassed 90 miles per hour and topped out at 92 mph. That’s in line with the 91.8 mph his fastball averaged in 2008 and 2009.

The outing, scheduled for five innings, was the longest of Wang’s comeback. He previously tossed three innings for Hagerstown and four innings for Potomac. Over the three rehabilitation starts, Wang has allowed two runs in 12 innings.

With his sinker working and good control Thursday, Wang induced nine ground-ball outs and struck out two.

A flag from Wang’s native Taiwan, along with a small group of supporters, waved after each out.

The Nationals haven’t announced where or when Wang will make his next start. His rehab assignment lasts until July 27.