Matsuzaka returns, but Red Sox fall to NatsJun 10, 2012 - 3:57 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Daisuke Matsuzaka made his first appearance in over a year for Boston on Saturday, but it made little difference as Washington took a 4-2 win in the second of three games from Fenway Park.
Matsuzaka (0-1) last pitched on May 16, 2011 against Baltimore as he wound up having Tommy John surgery shortly after that. He gave up four runs on five hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in five innings.
"I like what I saw of him out there today," said Boston manager Bobby Valentine about Matsuzaka. "He had some good movement on his pitches, fastball was strong. You know, eight strikeouts in five innings is pretty good, just have to work on the other stuff."
Gio Gonzalez (8-2) gave up two runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings to grab the win. Ian Desmond drove in two while Adam LaRoche hit a solo home run and Michael Morse added an RBI double for the Nationals, who have won four of their last five games.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a pinch-hit, two-run single in the seventh for the Red Sox, who have lost five of their last six games.
LaRoche led off the second with his 10th home run of the year and Washington plated three more runs in the fourth.
Bryce Harper led off the frame with a walk and Ryan Zimmerman followed with a single. After LaRoche struck out, Morse hit a ground-rule double to right to score Harper. Desmond followed with a single to right to score Zimmerman for a 4-0 lead.
Boston had just one batter reach base in the first four innings and left men on first and second in the fifth after Kelly Shoppach struck out to end the frame.
The Red Sox put men on first and third with one out in the seventh, prompting a pitching change as Craig Stammen took the hill. He walked Ryan Sweeney to load the bases and that saw Mike Gonzalez take over on the mound.
Saltalamacchia then lofted a single off the Green Monster that scored two, but Gonzalez struck out Daniel Nava and got Dustin Pedroia to foul out and end the frame.
Sean Burnett pitched a 1-2-3 eighth while Tyler Clippard worked around a two- out double from Sweeney in the ninth to pick up his seventh save of the season.
"Gio pitched a great ball game for us out there," said Washington manager Davey Johnson. "I don't like it when he starts rushing and gets wild, and I left myself open to second-guessing when I put in a guy that was wilder than him. But Gonzalez got us out of the jam and the other guys did their job."
Washington will go for the sweep on Sunday with Jordan Zimmermann on the mound while Boston will counter with Jon Lester...Boston batted just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base...Washington committed three errors in the game.
- WASHINGTON: 4
Jun 9 7:01 PM
- Pinch-hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to left scoring Will Middlebrooks and Mike Aviles. On the play, Ryan Sweeney advances to third. Runners on first and third with one out and Daniel Nava due up.
Nationals 4, Red Sox 2 Bot 7, 1 OutJun 9 6:21 PM
- Danny Espinosa flied out to right. On the play, Ian Desmond was doubled off first from right o second to first to complete the double play and end the inning.
Nationals 4, Red Sox 0 Mid 4Jun 9 5:13 PM
- Adam LaRoche lead-off Home Run (10) to right-center. Michael Morse is due up.
Nationals 1, Red Sox 0 Top 2, 0 OutsJun 9 4:24 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jun 9 4:08 PM
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