Boston at Houston

Scoreboard
Boston (50-32) «0030001026120
Houston (37-43)000000010140

Red Sox 6, Astros 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka is feeling closer to his old self after sitting out almost a month with a shoulder injury. He certainly feels better than he did a week ago.

Dice-K limited the Astros to two hits in five scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox won their first-ever regular-season game in Houston, 6-1 on Friday.

Matsuzaka (9-1) bounced back from his awful outing against St. Louis last weekend, his first start since coming off the disabled list with a mild strain in his rotator cuff. He gave up seven runs and six hits in one inning in that one, but immediately atoned for that by fanning the first three Astros he faced.

"I'm not even counting my last start," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "But I did feel like I did come back with this start. I just hope gradually I can make back all the trouble that I caused."

Matsuzaka threw only 87 pitches, his third-lowest total in 13 starts. Boston manager Terry Francona wanted Dice-K to throw around 85 pitches and he liked what he saw from the pitcher's mechanics.

"The ball came out of his hand crisp," Francona said. "I know he felt good, but we want to progress him to where he gets stronger."

Dice-K called the start an important step.

"I don't know if I'd say happy, but there was a minimum standard I wanted to reach out there today," he said. "I feel that, with my next start and going forward, it will just get better and better."

J.D. Drew hit a three-run homer and Mike Lowell added a two-run single in the ninth for the Red Sox, who stayed one-half game ahead of Tampa Bay in the AL East.

Drew helped Boston's Japanese ace with a homer off Runelvys Hernandez in the third, after Coco Crisp walked and Dustin Pedroia doubled. Drew snapped an 0-for-14 drought with his 15th homer. Despite the mini-slump, Drew has 11 homers and 26 RBI in June.

"It's been a nice month," Drew said. "I'll just try to transition that up for the rest of the season."

Drew's drive was all the offense Matsuzaka and the Red Sox needed.

Lance Berkman led off the second with a single, but Dice-K set down 10 of the next 11 Houston hitters, allowing only a walk to Hernandez.

Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth inning, the only real scoring threat Matsuzaka faced all night. After a mound visit from pitching coach John Farrell, Matsuzaka got David Newhan to pop up for the final out.

Catcher Jason Varitek knew Matsuzaka was tiring in the fifth.

"He was pretty gassed," Varitek said. "We had to give him a little breather. He had to work a bit, but it was good to get him through five."

The Astros sensed Matsuzaka was struggling throughout the game, but couldn't take advantage.

"He had a decent fastball, but he really didn't have his changeup working," said Houston leadoff man Michael Bourn, who went 0-for-3. "We had a chance to get him, but he battled his way out of it."

Craig Hansen relieved Matsuzaka for the sixth and needed only eight pitches to retire the Astros in order. Pedroia tacked on an RBI single in the seventh off Astros reliever Chris Sampson.

Reggie Abercrombie hit a solo homer off Hideki Okajima in the eighth, the first run allowed by Boston's bullpen in 12 innings. Miguel Tejada singled before Francona brought in closer Jonathan Papelbon, who struck out Berkman.

The Red Sox loaded the bases in the ninth and Lowell singled to center off Doug Brocail. Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 24th save in his 28th chance.

The Astros' punchless offense ruined a solid start from the 30-year-old Hernandez, who was called up from the minors on Thursday to take Shawn Chacon's spot in the rotation.

Houston placed Chacon on waivers Thursday, one day after he got into a physical confrontation with general manager Ed Wade in the Astros' clubhouse.

Hernandez was 6-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 15 starts with Triple-A Round Rock before the Astros purchased his contract.

"I gave 100 percent and that's usually enough to win," said Hernandez, who threw 99 pitches. "But I didn't want to be too excited. I was just trying to do my job."

Notes

Pedroia has hit safely in his last nine road games. ... Crisp will begin serving a five-game suspension on Saturday. Major League Baseball cut two days off his original seven-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl during Boston's June 5 game against Tampa Bay. ... Boston has now beaten every NL opponent on the road except the Los Angeles Dodgers (0-3).

 
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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Players of the Game
Boston

D. Matsuzaka
IP 5.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 3
K 4
Boston

D. Pedroia
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Boston Red Sox
Coco Crisp, CF4210102 .270
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4231100 .295
J.D. Drew, RF3113211 .309
Manny Ramirez, LF4000013 .287
    Manny Delcarmen, P0000000 .000
    Hideki Okajima, P0000000 .000
    Alex Cora, SS1000003 .275
Mike Lowell, 3B5012010 .285
Kevin Youkilis, 1B5040000 .313
Jason Varitek, C3010201 .233
Julio Lugo, SS4110005 .274
    Jonathan Papelbon, P0000000 .000
Daisuke Matsuzaka, P2000022 .000
    Craig Hansen, P0000000 .000
   a- Sean Casey, PH1000001 .362
    Jacoby Ellsbury, LF1000002 .273
Totals37612665  
a-flied out for Hansen in the 7th
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (23, Ru. Hernandez), Kevin Youkilis (21, Ru. Hernandez)
HR - J.D. Drew (15, Ru. Hernandez)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (35), J.D. Drew 3 (48), Mike Lowell 2 (43)
2-OUT RBI - Dustin Pedroia (13)
Team LOB - 10
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka (W,9-1) 5200340 3.21
Craig Hansen (H,5) 1000010 4.70
Manny Delcarmen 1000010 3.27
Hideki Okajima 0.2211001 3.21
Jonathan Papelbon (S,24) 1.1000010 2.00
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 87-54, Craig Hansen 8-6, Manny Delcarmen 17-13, Hideki Okajima 15-11, Jonathan Papelbon 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 5-6, Craig Hansen 1-1, Manny Delcarmen 1-1, Jonathan Papelbon 2-1
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 20, Craig Hansen 3, Manny Delcarmen 3, Hideki Okajima 4, Jonathan Papelbon 4
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF3000111 .232
David Newhan, 2B3000014 .333
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
   a- Reggie Abercrombie, PH1111000 .300
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Doug Brocail, P0000000 .000
Miguel Tejada, SS4010020 .288
Lance Berkman, 1B4010011 .365
Carlos Lee, LF4000001 .274
Geoff Blum, 3B4000001 .223
Hunter Pence, RF3000101 .266
Humberto Quintero, C3010010 .265
Runelvys Hernandez, P0000100 .000
   b- Darin Erstad, PH1000012 .296
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .105
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .250
    Mark Loretta, 2B1000000 .254
Totals3114137  
a-homered for Villarreal in the 8th
b-struck out for Ru. Hernandez in the 5th
Batting
HR - Reggie Abercrombie (1, Okajima)
RBI - Reggie Abercrombie (1)
2-OUT RBI - Reggie Abercrombie (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Newhan-Berkman, Loretta-Tejada-Berkman
Houston Astros
Runelvys Hernandez (L,0-1) 5533351 5.40
Chris Sampson 1.2211000 5.29
Tim Byrdak0000100 1.96
Oscar Villarreal 1.1200000 4.66
Wesley Wright 0.1122200 5.47
Doug Brocail 0.2200000 3.23
Pitches-Strikes - Runelvys Hernandez 99-63, Chris Sampson 20-14, Tim Byrdak 4-0, Oscar Villarreal 24-15, Wesley Wright 16-6, Doug Brocail 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Runelvys Hernandez 3-6, Chris Sampson 3-2, Doug Brocail 1-0
Batters Faced - Runelvys Hernandez 22, Chris Sampson 7, Tim Byrdak 1, Oscar Villarreal 6, Wesley Wright 4, Doug Brocail 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42327
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Mike Muchlinski, Third Base - Paul Nauert