The Red Sox opened their important 10-game journey out west with a 2-1 win in Oakland last night.
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched, and like the proverbial box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. It was the Good Dice-K who was on display last night, the one the Red Sox were hoping would be the good return on their huge investment.
He went 6 2/3 innings, allowed just 2 hits and 1 run (a home run by Rajai Davis), walked two and struck out six. No BSing around, he was aggressive and retired hitters quickly. At least twice last night I was channel surfing in-between innings and came back to find Dice-K pitching with one out already.
It was 1-0 Oakland in the fourth when Eric Patterson tripled and scored on David Ortiz' deep fly. One out later, Adrian Beltre hit a bomb into the left seats to make it 2-1.
Daniel Bard got out of the seventh with a pop up, but put two on in the eighth before he got out of that jam. Jonathan Papelbon got the A's 1-2-3 in the ninth (which is always a pleasure) for his 21st save, and a great start to a crucial swing on the West Coast. Matsuzaka is now 7-3.
Tampa Bay also won last night, so they are now 2 1/2 behind New York, who was idle. The Red Sox trail the Rays by 3 1/2. Tonight, Tim Wakefield makes what could be his last start for some time, with Clay Buchholz returning tomorrow and Josh Beckett making his return on Friday in Seattle.