For the first time in seven games at Tropicana Field, the Boston Red Sox came out victorious. The Sox scored early and often, roughing up Rays starter Scott Kazmir for 9 runs in 3+ innings.
Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka’s short and relatively sweet outing consisted of 5 innings pitched; 3 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. The only blemishes on his night were an Akinori Iwamura homer and tossing 101 pitches to 21 different batters through just five innings.
Sox call-up Chris Smith relieved Matsuzaka, and did not fare well. Smith gave up 4 runs on 4 hits in just 2 innings, but managed to get out of the seventh inning without surrendering any more. Mike Timlin and David Pauley threw uneventful 8th and 9th innings to put the Sox back up at the top of the AL East Standings (albeit tied with Tampa Bay).
David Ortiz’s first inning homer got Boston’s offense started. Two batters later Mike Lowell homered as well to extend the Sox’ early lead. With the team’s bats recently cooling off a bit, the Sox offense has gotten a boost from the production of Ortiz and Lowell- both playing through nagging injuries.
Jason Bay continued his success in a Boston uniform, leading off the fourth inning with a solo homer. With Jed Lowrie on, Jason Varitek hit a line drive shot to left; continuing his recent hot streak. Pedroia and Ortiz each drove in a run, and Ortiz hit a second shot to put the Sox up 11-1. Ellsbury hit a two out solo shot in the 5th and Youkilis drove in Chris Carter on a double in the 6th to end Boston’s offensive onslaught.
Tonight Josh Beckett (12-9, 4.10)is matched up against Andy Sonnanstine (13-7 4.47) to decide sole possesion of first place in the American League East.