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Sox Back Up Shaky Daisuke, Sweep Angels

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There was the first inning, and then there was the rest.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, getting his second start of the year, gave Red Sox fans little reason to hope for a sweep in the first, giving up 4 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks. Tim Wakefield and Scott Schoeneweis were warming up in the pen before the Red Sox had even come to the plate.

But Terry Francona elected to stay with his struggling starter in the second, and for the next 4 innings, Daisuke would shut the Angels down, keeping his team in the game while allowing only 2 more hits through the 5th.

Along the way, Victor Martinez brought the Sox back within a couple of runs by smacking a 2-run homer into the bullpen in right. Then, in the 5th, he delivered again, driving in Marco Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia with a game-tying double. The Sox were far from finished, though, going on to score 3 more runs before the inning was over.

The Angels fought their way back to a 1-run game when Manny Declarmen allowed a homer after a Juan Rivera double chased Daisuke from the game. But the Sox quickly extended the lead back to 3, and then 5 runs with a 4 run 6th. The bullpen closed it out without Bard or Papelbon, and broke .500 for the first time since opening night.

Game Notes:

  • Other than Victor Martinez, it's hard to pick out many individual performances, but when it's because everyone generally did good, I'll take it.
  • Some ugly fielding by the Angels helped the cause tonight. So did some ugly pitching. 7 walks in the first 5.1 innings.
  • Daisuke almost got out of the first with only 1 run allowed, but a botched double play attempt let 3 more runs cross.