Sports

Dice-K Allows One Hit In Eight Innings

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Daisuke Matsuzaka (Mark J. Terrill/APPhoto)

Daisuke Matsuzaka (Mark J. Terrill/APPhoto)

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed one hit and
struck out nine over eight innings, Kevin Youkilis homered and the
Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 on Saturday night
for their fourth straight victory.

Matsuzaka (2-2) allowed only four baserunners, none of which
advanced past second base. The only hit off the right-hander came
with one out in the second _ a vicious line drive back to the box
by Alberto Callaspo that deflected off Matsuzaka’s glove as he
tried to protect his face and caromed off his glove to shortstop
Jed Lowrie. Callaspo just beat Lowrie’s throw to first.
Matsuzaka, who came within one strikeout of matching his career
high, was coming off a 9-1 win last Monday that ended a
career-worst stretch of seven straight winless starts. He came in
with a career 5.88 ERA against the Angels, including the
postseason.

Los Angeles’ only other hit was an infield single to deep
shortstop by Erick Aybar against Daniel Bard leading off the ninth,
but the right-hander came back to strike out Bobby Abreu and Torii
Hunter before retiring Vernon Wells on a grouner to second.
The Red Sox extended their streak to eight consecutive games in
which their starting pitcher has gone at least five innings and
allowed fewer than three runs. The rotation, which has a 1.01
during this stretch, is one game away from tying the longest such
streak in franchise history, set in 1946.

Ervin Santana (0-3) gave up five runs and nine hits in seven
innings, raising his ERA to 5.51. It’s the first time in the
right-hander’s seven-year career that he has gone winless in his
first five starts. Last season he was 17-10, and in 2008 he started
out 6-0 in seven starts.

With second baseman Howie Kendrick, catcher Jeff Mathis and
center fielder Peter Bourjos all getting rested, Angels manager
Mike Scioscia’s shuffled his lineup and had Hank Conger, Mark
Trumbo and Reggie Willits filling out the bottom three spots in the
batting order. The trio was a combined 0 for 8 with six strikeouts.

Boston took a 2-0 lead with Carl Crawford’s RBI single in the
second inning and a run-scoring single by Adrian Gonzalez in the
third. It was only the fourth RBI for Crawford in his first 75
at-bats with the Red Sox, who signed the four-time All-Star to a
seven-year, $142 million free-agent contract in December after he
drove in a career-high 90 runs last season for Tampa Bay.
Youkilis, who fouled a ball off his left shin Thursday night and
sat out Friday’s 4-2 win, made it 4-0 in the fifth with a two-out
opposite-field homer to right-center after a leadoff single by
Jacoby Ellsbury.

Jason Varitek, who came in 1 for 17 lifetime against Santana,
drove in Boston’s fifth run with a double in the sixth after
striking out and grounding out his first two times up. The hit
snapped an 0 for 19 drought overall for the Red Sox catcher, who
started in the ninth spot in the order for the first time since
April 11, 2009, at Anaheim.

NOTES: The Red Sox have seven stolen bases during the first
three games of this four-game series, as many as they had during
their first 17 games. … David Ortiz is 11 for 68 with five homers
and 10 RBIs against the Angels since the start of the 2009 season _
including a dreadful game at Anaheim on May 14, 2009, when he went
0 for 7 with three strikeouts and stranded 12 baserunners in
Boston’s 5-4 loss. … Matsuzaka made his fourth career
regular-season start against the Angels and first in Anaheim. He
also faced the Halos twice in the postseason, getting no-decisions
in 2008 at the Big A and 2007 at Fenway Park. … Matsuzaka also
pitched at Angel Stadium in the 2006 World Baseball Classic for
Japan, beating Mexico in the semifinals with five scoreless innings
for one of his three victories and winning MVP honors for the
tournament.

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