Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: Dice-K 0's Os for six innings

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dice-K 0's Os for six innings

July 14. BOSTON, MA -- Matsuzaka pitched the Red Sox into first place handing the Orioles a 2-1 loss. Last Monday, the Sox were 5 games behind Tampa Bay and started a six-game homestand. They swept the Twins and took 2 out of 3 from Baltimore. Meanwhile, the Rays lost 6 consecutive games.

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and five walks while improving his record to 10-1. Jonathan Papelbon escaped in the ninth for his 28th save of the season and 100th of his career.

The Red Sox moved a half-game ahead of Tampa Bay and took the division lead for the first time since June 28. Boston trailed by a season-high five games last weekend, then won five of six while the Rays lost seven in a row. "I was talking trash to my teammates to make sure they got back in first place before I came back," Ortiz said. "I can't wait to start playing again and I am feeling good." Ortiz has missed 39 games because of an injured wrist. The All-Star slugger is expected to return in time for a series against the rival New York Yankees on July 25.

Matsuzaka helped himself by snaring Melvin Mora's hard comebacker with the bases loaded to end the fifth, and has given up just one run in his last 23 1/3 innings. Only twice in 16 starts has he allowed more than three runs. Even with his impressive record and a 2.65 ERA, Matsuzaka is not among the Red Sox representatives in the All-Star Game. Opponents are 0-for-11 this season with the bases loaded against Matsuzaka.

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