for this game

Matsuzaka helps Red Sox reclaim first place

Jul 13, 2008 - 11:14 PM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched six scoreless innings Sunday, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

The Red Sox (57-40), who improved to 36-11 at Fenway Park, hold a one-half game lead over the surprising Tampa Bay Rays heading into the All-Star break.

"It's good to be in first place," Boston first baseman Sean Casey said. "We are going to test the Rays and they'll test us. But they need to know we aren't going away. They got the sweep in Tampa, but they need to know we are going to hang around and we feel that if we go out there every night and play good baseball, we'll keep winning ballgames.

Matsuzaka (10-1) worked around four hits and five walks in keeping the Orioles off the scoreboard, striking out seven. While he was erratic at times, he was pleased with the results.

"My pitching wasn't consistent today," Matsuzaka said. "But I was able to hold the runners when I got into trouble so overall I think it was okay."

In fact, the outing was a microcosm of Matsuzaka's season. He has won 10 games despite allowing an alarming number of baserunners, 61 of whom were either walked or hit by a pitch.

Despite his impressive record and a 2.65 ERA, Matsuzaka is not among the seven Red Sox representatives who will join Francona and his coaching staff at the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

"Last year there was a big gap between my good and bad starts, and our scoring saved me a few times, and there were games where I pitched well and we couldn't get any runs, so there was some inconsistency," Matsuzaka said. "I think this year the waves have become smaller, and my pitching itself has been better compared to last year."

Terry Francona summed it up more succinctly.

"The good news is he gets out of it," he said.

Boston struck early, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by All-Star J.D. Drew off Baltimore starter Daniel Cabrera (6-5). All-Star Dustin Pedroia made it 2-0 in the fourth inning with an RBI fielder's choice.

Pedroia finished with 124 hits at the break, one shy of the franchise record shared by Wade Boggs and Nomar Garciaparra.

After relievers Hideki Okajima and Manny Delcarmen combined for two scoreless innings, the Orioles made things interesting in the ninth inning off Boston's All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon.

With one out, both Brian Roberts and Adam Jones singled. Papelbon struck out Nick Markakis for the second out, but Aubrey Huff bounced a single up the middle to score Roberts.

Papelbon bore down and got Melvin Mora to line out weakly to Pedroia to record his 28th save of the season and 100th career.

"It feels nice," said Papelbon of his 100th save. "I would have liked to have done it without giving up a run. I didn't execute pitches tonight but I was able to will myself through that one and sure enough collect my 100th, which feels really nice."

Cabrera pitched 4 1/3 innings, surrendering two runs and six hits. He walked six and struck out a pair as he fell to 2-10 lifetime against Boston.

The teams each allowed seven walks and combined to leave 24 runners on base.

In addition to the high walk totals, both starters hit a batter. Boston All-Star first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was playing third base on Sunday, had to leave the game with a left triceps contusion after he was plunked by Cabrera in the fifth inning. He was replaced by rookie Jed Lowrie and is not expected to miss any time.








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

    BATTERIES: BAL - BRIAN BURRES, CHAD BRADFORD (7TH), JIM JOHNSON (8TH), GEORGE
    SHERRILL (9TH) AND RAMON HERNANDEZ
    BOS - CLAY BUCHHOLZ, JAVIER LOPEZ (6TH), DAVID AARDSMA
    (7TH),

    Jul 11 10:35 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MELVIN MORA SCORED ADAM JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MARKAKIS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 7
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: K MILLAR (.240, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Orioles 7, Red Sox 3  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 11 10:15 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRANDON FAHEY SCORED MELVIN MORA AND JAY PAYTON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B FAHEY ON FIRST, R HERNANDEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 6
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: B ROBERTS (.296, 3-FOR-4, RBI)

    Orioles 6, Red Sox 3  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 11 9:52 PM
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    Orioles 6, Red Sox 3  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 11 9:52 PM
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    Orioles 4, Red Sox 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 11 9:26 PM
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    Orioles 4, Red Sox 3  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 11 9:22 PM
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    Orioles 4, Red Sox 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 11 8:53 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY AUBREY HUFF SCORED BRIAN ROBERTS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, N MARKAKIS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 4
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: M MORA (.239, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Orioles 4, Red Sox 3  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 11 8:44 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY BRIAN ROBERTS SCORED BRANDON FAHEY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B ROBERTS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 3
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: A JONES (.280, 0-FOR-1, SF, RBI)

    Orioles 3, Red Sox 3  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 11 8:36 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JULIO LUGO SCORED JASON VARITEK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B MOSS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.277, 0-FOR-2)

    Orioles 2, Red Sox 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 11 8:27 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JULIO LUGO SCORED SEAN CASEY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B MOSS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.277, 0-FOR-1)

    Orioles 2, Red Sox 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 11 7:53 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRANDON MOSS SCORED MIKE LOWELL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B MOSS ON FIRST, S CASEY ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.267, 1 HR, 20 RBI)

    Orioles 2, Red Sox 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 11 7:48 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BALTIMORE 2 2 2 0
    BOSTON 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: BAL - BRIAN BURRES
    BOS - CLAY BUCHHOLZ

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.278, 5 HR, 27 RBI)
    D PEDROIA (.313, 9 HR, 44 RBI)
    K YOUKILIS (.319, 14 HR, 57 RBI)

    Orioles 2, Red Sox 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 11 7:21 PM
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