Matsuzaka dominates as Red Sox top RaysOct 11, 2008 - 5:40 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- The Boston Red Sox had one win at Tropicana Field during the regular season. They matched that total on Friday.
Daisuke Matsuzaka took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Kevin Youkilis finished with three hits to lead the Red Sox to a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game One of the American League Championship Series.
The AL East foes met nine times here during the regular season, with the Rays taking eight of the contests. Tampa Bay won the season series, 10-8.
Matsuzaka (1-0) allowed four hits in seven-plus innings while walking four and matching a season-high with nine strikeouts.
The Japanese righthander walked the bases loaded in the first but allowed only one baserunner over the next five frames before Carl Crawford led off the seventh with a single, ending the no-hit bid.
"You have to keep going with (Matsuzaka)," Jason Varitek said. "Each inning can be different."
Matsuzaka had made it past the sixth inning only once in his previous six starts, including allowing three runs in five frames against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the AL Division Series.
"My strike zone wasn't that great today, so I had to rely more on those secondary pitches like the slider, the cutter and the 'shuto' (changeup), " Matsuzaka said. "With my fastball not where I wanted it to be, I did my best to use those secondary pitches to the corners and I think I was able to do that somewhat effectively."
The Red Sox got to James Shields (0-1) in the fifth, when Jason Bay drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Mark Kotsay's check-swing double down the left field line. Jed Lowrie followed and got down in the count 0-2 before driving a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Rays threatened in the seventh as Cliff Floyd followed Crawford's single with one of his own, putting runners at the corners. But Matsuzaka got Dioner Navarro to fly out to left, struck out Gabe Gross swinging and induced a groundout to shortstop by Jason Bartlett to escape unscathed.
"We had some opportunities, we didn't take advantage of them," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It was really a well-pitched game on both sides. It was a clean game. A good game.
"There was not a lot of hitting, but they just got the couple of runs and we had some opportunities and were not able to take advantage of them."
Boston added a run in the eighth, when Dustin Pedroia singled and stole second. J.P. Howell relieved Shields and issued a walk to David Ortiz before Youkilis hit a sinking liner to left field that glanced off the glove of a diving Crawford and toward the line for a double, plating Pedroia.
"J.P. Howell is a difficult at-bat because he has a great curveball," Youkilis said. "I was trying to tell myself to get back early and look at the fastball and then try to react to the other stuff. I got that curveball that kind of stayed up a little bit and was fortunate enough to pull it.
"I thought it was going to drop right off the bat, but Carl Crawford out there, he's not the most friendly guy to hitters. Luckily, I think I got enough topspin on the ball to fall in."
Shields was charged with two runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings while walking two and striking out six.
"There's no doubt we'll bounce back," Shields said. "I can build on this."
Tampa Bay chased Matsuzaka with back-to-back singles leading off the eighth. Lefthander Hideki Okajima came on and got Carlos Pena to fly out before righthander Justin Masterson entered and got Evan Longoria to ground into a double play.
"That was a huge situation in the game and he executed exactly like he was supposed to," Boston manager Terry Francona said of Masterson.
Jonathan Papelbon tossed a perfect ninth for the save. He has yet to allow a run in 20 2/3 career postseason innings, surpassing Joe Niekro's record of 20 scoreless frames.
Boston, which won the ALCS last season after falling behind three games to one against Cleveland, has won its last four ALCS games by outscoring the opposition, 32-5.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
BOSTON 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 7 0
TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, HIDEKI OKAJIMA (8TH), JUSTIN MASTERSON
(8TH), JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND JASON VARITEK
TAM - JAMES SHIELDS, J.P. HOWELL (8TH), GRANT BALFO
Oct 11 12:05 AM
AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
DOUBLE BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K YOUKILIS ON SECOND, D ORTIZ ON THIRD, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
TAMPA BAY 0 TOP, 8TH
DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.333, 1-FOR-3)
Red Sox 2, Rays 0 Top 8, 0 OutsOct 10 11:15 PM
AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
SACRIFICE FLY BY JED LOWRIE SCORED JASON BAY.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M KOTSAY ON THIRD, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
TAMPA BAY 0 TOP, 5TH
DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.000, 0-FOR-1)
Red Sox 1, Rays 0 Top 5, 0 OutsOct 10 10:02 PM
- Rays' Kiermaier expected to miss 8-10 weeks with broken hand May 23
- Rays-Marlins Preview May 23
- Ventura: Relievers, media pose threats to Bradley's streak May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Tigers beat Rays 9-4 but Zimmermann, Cabrera hurt May 22
- Ortiz gets 4 hits, Bradley's streak at 27, Bosox top Indians May 22
- Archer hit hard as Rays fall 9-4 to Tigers May 22
- Signs of progress for Stanton in Marlins' 8-2 loss to Nats May 22
- Boston's Bradley extends hitting streak to 27 games May 22
- Indians-Red Sox Preview May 21
- Kiermaier breaks hand, Rays fall to Tigers 5-4 May 21
- Rays-Tigers Preview May 21