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Boston at Anaheim

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Boston (9-11) «0110210005110
L.A. Angels (12-9)000000000020

Dice-K allows one hit as Red Sox blank Angels

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched eight innings against the Los Angeles Angels and gave up only one hit -- in self-defense.

The right-hander struck out nine in a nearly flawless performance and got home run support from Kevin Youkilis in a 5-0 victory on Saturday night, extending the Boston Red Sox's winning streak to four games. Even Jason Varitek helped out his batterymate with an RBI double that snapped an 0 for 19 drought.

The only hit off Matsuzaka (2-2) 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.

"He battled a little bit with his command early, but he was able to still make a completion pitch when he was battling," Varitek said. "At other times he was executing pitches beautifully. He had a real good changeup that was able to slow down a lot of bats."

Matsuzaka, who came within one strikeout of matching his career high, was coming off a 9-1 win last Monday at Fenway Park in which he held Toronto to one hit over seven innings. That victory ended a career-worst stretch of seven straight winless starts for the five-year veteran, who came in with a career 5.88 ERA against the Angels - including the postseason.

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"He was hitting his spots, and it looked like those guys weren't feeling comfortable at the plate," Youkilis said. "When he goes out there and throws strikes and throws it where he wants to and get ahead, that's what he can do."

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 grounder to second.

"We're in a little tough streak right now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Those guys are pitching well, but we have to do a better job against good pitching. We haven't been able to do it in this series. We were trying to work the counts on Matsuzaka and drew a few walks, but for the most part, he had good command and we paid a price for it."

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.

"I think they're all feeding off each other a little bit," manager Terry Francona said. "Getting some stability and consistency in the rotation really helps."

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 Howard 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.

"We battled as much as we could, but [Matsuzaka] was just better," Trumbo said. "He used his split-finger more to left-handed hitters, and to the right-handed hitters he threw more sliders. But it really didn't matter. He was on. It was kind of hard to establish a trend with him."

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 made it 4-0 in the fifth with a two-out opposite-field homer to right-center after a leadoff single by Jacoby Ellsbury.

Varitek, who came in 1 for 17 lifetime against Santana, got his long-awaited hit after striking out and grounding out his first two times up. The three-time All-Star 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.
  • 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.
 
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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Daisuke Matsuzaka gives up one hit, strikes out nine and allows four baserunners against the Angels.  (Getty Images)
Daisuke Matsuzaka gives up one hit, strikes out nine and allows four baserunners against the Angels. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Boston

K. Youkilis
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Boston

D. Matsuzaka
IP 8.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 3
K 9
 
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5220021 .206
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4000102 .297
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B5011012 .263
Kevin Youkilis, 3B4112032 .217
David Ortiz, DH4010010 .254
Jed Lowrie, SS4120002 .431
J.D. Drew, RF4010021 .278
Carl Crawford, LF4121002 .154
Jason Varitek, C4011013 .074
Totals385115110  
Batting
2B - Jed Lowrie (4, Santana), Carl Crawford (3, Santana), Jason Varitek (1, Santana)
HR - Kevin Youkilis (4, Santana)
RBI - Adrian Gonzalez (10), Kevin Youkilis 2 (10), Carl Crawford (4), Jason Varitek (1)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Youkilis 2 (3), Carl Crawford (2), Jason Varitek (1)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (5, 2nd base off Santana/Conger, 2nd base off Santana/Conger), Dustin Pedroia (2, 2nd base off Santana/Conger)
Team LOB - 7
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Daisuke Matsuzaka (W,2-2) 8100390 4.09
Daniel Bard 1100020 4.35
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 115-78, Daniel Bard 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 4-11, Daniel Bard 1-0
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 28, Daniel Bard 4
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Maicer Izturis, 2B4000010 .338
Erick Aybar, SS4010010 .357
Bobby Abreu, RF2000211 .239
Torii Hunter, DH3000113 .205
Vernon Wells, CF-LF4000003 .174
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3010011 .304
Hank Conger, C3000022 .281
Mark Trumbo, 1B3000022 .237
    Peter Bourjos, CF0000000 .286
Reggie Willits, LF2000020 .000
   a- Howard Kendrick, PH-1B1000000 .274
Totals29020311  
a-grounded out for Willits in the 8th
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ervin Santana (L,0-3) 7955191 5.51
Jason Bulger 2200010 0.96
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 104-73, Jason Bulger 25-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 3-9, Jason Bulger 2-3
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 31, Jason Bulger 8
Game Information
Attendance - 40025
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Larry Vanover