Share this article

print logo

Matsuzaka's outing bottles up Blue Jays

BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka wanted to impress his old pitching coach.

Did he ever.

Matsuzaka pitched one-hit ball for seven innings after one of the worst outings of his career and Boston got an early start on its third straight win, beating the Toronto Blue Jays and new manager John Farrell, 9-1, on Monday in the Red Sox's traditional morning Patriots Day game.

"Farrell is on the other side so I wanted to show solid pitching in front of him," Matsuzaka said through a translator.

For the past four years Farrell tried, often unsuccessfully, to get Matsuzaka to attack hitters and cut down his pitch count. On Monday, the right-hander threw just 89 pitches against the free-swinging Blue Jays, whose impatience at the plate worked in his favor.

"He threw a very good game," Farrell said. "He's had a lot of success against Toronto in the past and he's used his fastball effectively. He did that and we weren't able to put good swings on it."

More importantly, Matsuzaka impressed his own manager, Terry Francona, after entering the game with a 12.86 ERA in two starts. Matsuzaka permitted only two base runners, matching the fewest he's allowed in his 101 major league starts.

"If I did pitch badly," Matsuzaka said, "I thought there wouldn't be the next chance."

The game began at 11:07 a.m. at Fenway Park. The holiday observed in Massachusetts and Maine marks the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775. Earlier Monday, the 115th Boston Marathon passed through nearby Kenmore Square.

Matsuzaka (1-2) got plenty of support as Jed Lowrie's four hits led a 13-hit, three-homer attack.

Matsuzaka gave up a clean single to center to Jose Bautista with two outs in the first. He walked Travis Snider with two outs in the second, then set down his final 16 batters to improve to 7-1 against the Blue Jays.

He struck out three and walked one. In his previous start against Tampa Bay, he allowed seven runs in two innings.

Toronto finished with two hits. Yunel Escobar homered off Tim Wakefield in the ninth.

Lowrie hit his second homer, a two-run shot in the fifth, off Ricky Romero (1-2) to make it 5-0, and finished with four RBIs. He has 15 hits in his last 24 at-bats.

At one point, Lowrie's .533 batting average was posted on the scoreboard.

"I understand, but who cares? It's April 18. We've got a long season," he said. "You don't think about it. You just continue to do what you're doing and go out there and just let it happen."

Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury also homered.

Romero allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings with four strikeouts, eight hits and five walks.

"I felt great coming into the game," he said. "They have the offense."

There are no comments - be the first to comment