for this game

Matsuzaka sharp as Red Sox blank Tigers

Apr 9, 2008 - 12:09 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) - The Boston Red Sox honored their past and then went about continuing the misery of the Detroit Tigers.

Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 6 2/3 shutout innings and Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-3 and drove in a run Tuesday as the defending world champions beat the Tigers, 5-0, in Boston's home opener at Fenway Park.

"Being given the chance to throw the home opener and also with our team on a little bit a slide, I just wanted to go out there and win the game today and that's how I stepped on the mound," Matsuzaka said in helping Boston end its three-game slide.

Former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, remembered for letting a slow roller go through his legs to end Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before 36,567, a Fenway record for Opening Day.

The Buckner-to-Dwight Evans pitch highlighted an hour-long pregame ceremony honoring the 2007 World Series champions, as Boston handed out their World Series rings and raised a banner for the second time in four years before a sellout crowd.

Every player and coach also received their 2007 World Series ring.

"It never gets old," Youkilis said. "This is my fourth Opening Day with the Boston Red Sox and I've had two ring ceremonies. Hopefully, in the future, we get these every year because it will definitely feel weird not to have a ring ceremony."

"It's great to get these rings, it's great to win a ballgame and it's great to get these intros out of the way," Youkilis said. "Now, we get to sit back and just play baseball. I think it was a huge game for us to come out and win and get a day just to get our rings."

Youkilis raised his average to an even .400 with the three hits.

"I'd say right now I'm just getting some hits and basically putting some good at-bats together," Youkilis said. "There's times where you're swinging the bat well, you're getting hits. I had some balls fall in for me but right now I'm just trying to concentrate."

While the Red Sox (4-4) reached .500, the Tigers, picked by many as World Series favorites, dropped to 0-7 - their worst start since beginning 2003 with nine setbacks on their way to 119 losses.

"Obviously we're not playing good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We haven't won a game so I don't know that the confidence level would be down. How does the club feel? The club feels fine. We haven't won a game so obviously we're not in the best of moods."

Matsuzaka (2-0), who has filled in as the team's ace as Josh Beckett works his way back from back stiffness, looked the part of a No. 1 pitcher, allowing just four hits and striking out seven in winning for the second time in three outings.

"I thought he established early on that he was going to command the strike zone," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He started right from the get-go attacking his spots and he carried it right through the game."

"I thought he pitched good," Leyland said. "He really kind of overpowered us. He threw the ball by a lot of guys."

Tigers starter Kenny Rogers (0-2) was not as effective. He allowed eight hits and three runs - two earned - over 4 2/3 innings. .

"Let's not kid ourselves," Rogers said. "Right now, we're the worst team in baseball. And it's because of the way we're playing in all areas. We can keep talking about how good we are, but we haven't shown anything yet. Until we start playing well and playing the way we're capable of doing, we're not one of the better teams in the game."

The lefthander also walked three and fanned three while committing a balk.

Manny Delcarmen came on in relief of Matsuzaka with two outs in the seventh and pitched the eighth before Hideki Okajima pitched a scoreless ninth.






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    Tigers 0, Red Sox 5  FinalApr 8 10:44 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2
    BOSTON 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 x 5 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - KENNY ROGERS, JASON GRILLI (5TH), AQUILINO LOPEZ (6TH) AND
    IVAN RODRIGUEZ
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, MANNY DELCARMEN (7TH), HIDEKI
    OKAJIMA (9TH) AND JASON VARI

    Apr 8 5:40 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO J.D. DREW SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DREW ON FIRST, M LOWELL ON SECOND, D ORTIZ
    ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    BOSTON 5 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.308, 2-FOR-3)

    Tigers 0, Red Sox 5  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 8 4:43 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K YOUKILIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    BOSTON 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.107, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Tigers 0, Red Sox 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 8 4:27 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D PEDROIA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.111, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Tigers 0, Red Sox 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 8 3:35 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY PLACIDO POLANCO ALLOWED MANNY RAMIREZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.207, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers 0, Red Sox 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 8 3:10 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY COCO CRISP SCORED J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VARITEK ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.238, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Tigers 0, Red Sox 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 8 2:49 PM
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