32-15: Matsuzaka beats Rangers, nausea in start

In a rain-delayed opening game at Rangers Stadium, the Red Sox pulled ahead early, knocking out Texas starter Brandon McCarthy after just two innings of work. He let the game with a blister on his throwing hand after a 47-pitch second inning in which the Red Sox scored four runs. In the 4th inning, as Texas pounded Matsuzaka to regain the lead, but the visitors rallied against relievers Wes Littleton (0-1) and Frankie Francisco to win the game 10-6.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-2) didn’t look too good on the mound yesterday, and some of the Red Sox were concerned that it might be a muscle injury or something to that effect. It later turned out that Matsuzaka was battling queasiness and nausea on the mound. He struggled through five innings, his shortest outing of the year. In the fourth, Texas batters had their way with Matsuzaka, scoring five runs and pulling ahead, 6-5. But Dice-K stayed in the game just long enough to claim win number 7 to join Josh Beckett and others at the top of the MLB wins list. The good news about this start? It wasn’t wildness that cost him this time, so his consistent motion seems to be intact.

Still, the offense really bailed him out, as they drew 7 walks and produced 10 runs on 10 hits against the Rangers’ staff. Kevin Youkilis went 2-5, and his now hit safely in 17 consecutive games. These are not 1-5 games here, but 11 of them have been multi-hit games; he is masterfully putting the ball where he wants it.

The bullpen pitched very well again, with consecutive scoreless innings from Brendan Donnelly, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon.


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