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Boston at Toronto

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Boston (21-10) «1200030219120
Toronto (13-19)000001002382

Dice-K wins third straight, Sox hand Jays eighth loss in row

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- From the windup, Daisuke Matsuzaka has been fine. It's when he pitched from the stretch that there were problems.

Matsuzaka worked in-between starts to fine-tune his delivery, and the results showed. He won his third straight decision and the Boston Red Sox beat Toronto 9-3 Wednesday, sending the Blue Jays to their eighth loss in a row.

Matsuzaka (4-2), who allowed a season-high seven runs in his last start, was much more effective against Toronto. He struck out eight in seven innings, allowing just one run and five hits.

"When I had struggled, the coaches and I talked about some of the difficulties with rhythm and timing and in my bullpen session and long toss this week. I definitely worked on those two elements," Matsuzaka said through a translator.

"Once I got up on the mound today, I was not over-conscious about timing, but having gone through those in practice, I was able to move things in a more positive direction."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Matsuzaka looked more comfortable than in his last outing.

"He wasn't forcing the issue, he was trusting his ability and his command," he said. "He worked hard this week and it paid off."

"He threw everything for strikes and he located very well," he said. "He threw up, he threw down. He executed all his pitches very, very well. It was exciting to watch."

Catcher Jason Varitek said Matsuzaka kept the Blue Jays off-balance by working to both sides of the plate.

"He just had a better feel," Varitek said. "He was more in the zone with all his pitches than his last time."

The Red Sox hit four home runs for the second straight game. They've won six of seven.

Manny Ramirez hit his 476th career home run and David Ortiz homered and tied a career high with four hits. Mike Lowell and Julio Lugo also connected.

"When you get offense from all over the place, one through nine, that certainly helps," Francona said.

The matchup between Matsuzaka and Toronto's Tomo Ohka was just the fourth time in major league history that two Japanese starters have faced off. The last time it happened was June 19, 2002, when Ohka, then with Montreal, beat Kansas City's Mac Suzuki.

Ohka (2-4) got the loss in this one, allowing three runs and six hits over 4 2/3 innings. He walked five, one intentional, and struck out two.

Ramirez put the Red Sox in front with a run-scoring groundout in the first, and sloppy defense from Ohka led to two more Boston runs in the second.

With Eric Hinske at first after a leadoff walk, Dustin Pedroia bunted up the first-base line. Ohka tried to push the ball to first but it rolled past the bag and down the line, allowing both runners to move up. Lugo followed with a run-scoring groundout and Pedroia scored on Ortiz's opposite-field double.

Boston added three more in the sixth against Scott Downs, who had not given up a run in 9 1/3 innings over 15 appearances.

Pedroia led off with a single and scored on Lugo's homer, his second. Two outs later, Ramirez homered into the second deck in left, his sixth.

Ortiz hit a two-run homer off Josh Towers in the eighth, his ninth, and Lowell added his sixth homer in the ninth.

"He actually gets a lot of hits taken away with that big shift, but you can't shift someone into the stands," Lowell said about Ortiz. "There aren't any pitches he can't handle."

Lyle Overbay's solo homer in the sixth was all Toronto could manage against Matsuzaka.

Overbay added another home run in the ninth, his sixth, off Joel Pineiro. It's Toronto's first multihomer game of the season and the fifth of Overbay's career.

The Blue Jays remain mired in their worst stretch since a nine-game losing streak in 2002.

"This is about as low as it can get," Overbay said.

Notes

  • Toronto's Alex Rios went 4-for-4 with a walk and became the first batter to reach base five times against Matsuzaka.
  • Boston's Kevin Youkilis (sore left leg) was a late scratch. He was replaced by Hinske.
  • Suzuki was the loser in all three previous matchups of Japanese pitchers, losing to New York's Hideki Irabu on May 7, 1999, and to Detroit's Hideo Nomo on July 2, 2000.
  • It was Ortiz's 10th four-hit game and his first since July 29, 2006, against the Los Angeles Angels.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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The BoSox unleash Dice-K on the Blue Jays, and the Japanese ace does not disappoint.  (AP)
The BoSox unleash Dice-K on the Blue Jays, and the Japanese ace does not disappoint. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

D. Matsuzaka
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 3
K 8
Toronto

L. Overbay
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
 
Boston Red Sox
Julio Lugo, SS5113000 .228
Coco Crisp, CF4210101 .227
David Ortiz, DH5143010 .311
Manny Ramirez, LF5112002 .242
    Wily Mo Pena, LF0000000 .270
J.D. Drew, RF3000220 .248
Mike Lowell, 3B4131100 .305
Jason Varitek, C4000114 .272
Eric Hinske, 1B4100124 .207
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4220000 .267
Totals38912966  
Batting
2B - David Ortiz (11, Ohka), Mike Lowell (9, Ohka)
HR - Julio Lugo (2, Downs), David Ortiz (9, Towers), Manny Ramirez (6, Downs), Mike Lowell (6, Towers)
RBI - Julio Lugo 3 (17), David Ortiz 3 (28), Manny Ramirez 2 (19), Mike Lowell (25)
2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz 3 (14), Manny Ramirez (10)
SB - Coco Crisp (6, 3rd base off Towers/Fasano)
Team LOB - 8
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka (W,4-2) 7511381 4.80
Brendan Donnelly 1000010 0.93
Joel Pineiro 1322021 3.55
WP - Daisuke Matsuzaka (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 108-70, Brendan Donnelly 9-7, Joel Pineiro 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 6-7, Joel Pineiro 1-0
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 29, Brendan Donnelly 3, Joel Pineiro 6
Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Rios, RF4041100 .291
Adam Lind, LF4000123 .230
Vernon Wells, CF4000014 .271
Frank Thomas, DH3000110 .244
Troy Glaus, 3B4010002 .328
Lyle Overbay, 1B4222011 .246
Aaron Hill, 2B4110021 .276
Sal Fasano, C4000031 .200
John McDonald, SS4000011 .304
Totals35383311  
Batting
2B - Alex Rios (10, Matsuzaka), Aaron Hill (12, Pineiro)
HR - Lyle Overbay 2 (5, Matsuzaka, Pineiro)
RBI - Alex Rios (20), Lyle Overbay 2 (16)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rios (8), Lyle Overbay (4)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - McDonald-Hill-Overbay
E - Sal Fasano (2, Throwing), Tomo Ohka (2, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Tomo Ohka (L,2-4) 4.2633520 5.53
Brian Tallet 0.1000110 6.35
Scott Downs 1333022 2.61
Josh Towers 3333012 5.81
IBB - Drew by Tomo Ohka
WP - Tomo Ohka (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Tomo Ohka 96-51, Brian Tallet 9-4, Scott Downs 16-12, Josh Towers 37-28
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tomo Ohka 7-4, Josh Towers 4-4
Batters Faced - Tomo Ohka 24, Brian Tallet 2, Scott Downs 6, Josh Towers 12
Game Information
Attendance - 21784
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Brian Gorman