Red Sox beat Blue Jays 6-1 as Matsuzaka strikes out 9, walks none
Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed three hits in seven innings and the Boston Red Sox capitalized on more wildness by Toronto Blue Jays pitchers for a 6-1 win Tuesday night.
BOSTON - Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed three hits in seven innings and the Boston Red Sox capitalized on more wildness by Toronto Blue Jays pitchers for a 6-1 win Tuesday night.
Matsuzaka struck out nine and allowed just three runners on a single and double by John Buck and a double by Fred Lewis. He walked none, while four Toronto pitchers issued eight bases on balls one night after the Red Sox drew seven walks in a 7-6 win.
The Red Sox won their third straight as Matsuzaka (2-1) had the best outing of his three games since coming off the disabled list after recovering from a neck strain. In each of his other two starts, he had one terrible inning but was otherwise solid.
Dana Eveland (3-2) gave up all of Boston's runs in four-plus innings, when he allowed five hits and four walks and hit a batter.
Boston took a 2-0 lead in the first when Marco Scutaro led off with a walk, and took third on Dustin Pedroia's ground-rule double. Scutaro scored on J.D. Drew's groundout to first and Pedroia came in on Kevin Youkilis' sacrifice fly. Jason Varitek's sixth homer made it 3-0 in the second.
The Red Sox took advantage of two botched plays to score a run in the fourth.
Varitek singled when his grounder went through the legs of Jose Bautista as the top half of the broken bat flew at the third baseman. Bill Hall then lofted a high fly to short centre field that left fielder Lewis, centre fielder Vernon Wells and shortstop Alex Gonzalez let fall between them. Wells picked the ball up with a good chance to throw to second for a forceout on Varitek, but threw wildly. The play originally was scored an error on the throw before being changed to a single.
Darnell McDonald then doubled in Varitek.
In the fifth, Boston capitalized on more errant tosses to score twice and make it 6-0. Drew reached on a bunt single and Youkilis walked. Shawn Camp replaced Eveland and walked Mike Lowell, loading the bases. Drew scored on a wild pitch and Varitek was walked intentionally, reloading the bases. Youkilis scored when Hall grounded into a forceout at second.
Toronto finally broke through against Matsuzaka with a run in the sixth. Buck doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Lewis.
Matsuzaka had retired his first seven batters, three on strikeouts. Buck then singled in the third, but Matsuzaka ended the inning by striking out Travis Snider and Lewis.
He followed with two more perfect innings before giving up the run in the sixth. But he finished his outing with a perfect seventh on two infield popups and a ground out.
In his season debut on May 1, Matsuzaka gave up one run and one hit in the first four innings and then allowed six runs in the fifth and took the loss. Last Thursday in an 11-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels, he allowed four runs in the first but just one run and three hits in the next 4 1-3 innings and got the victory.
NOTES: Matsuzaka walked no batters for only the second time in his last 33 starts. ... Toronto lost the first two games of the series after going 7-1 in its previous eight. ... Boston is 5-0 against Toronto this season. ... Lewis extended his hitting streak to eight games. ... Boston RHP Josh Beckett is expected to miss Friday's start because of back spasms.