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Red Sox 2, Nationals 4: One Bad Inning

And we're back to being a losing team.

Making his return after one full year off, Daisuke Matsuzaka was actually pretty impressive, despite the four runs in five innings. While his off-speed stuff had tremendous movement, he lost control of his fastball at times, and it cost him. Catching too much of the plate too often, Daisuke surrendered a solo shot in the second, and then allowed three more runs to come across in the fourth, though that was in part due to a pretty bad defensive play by Mike Aviles. Were it not for those runs-a big if, I know-we could just be looking at the eight strikeouts and one walk with a smile.

Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, was quite impressive, showing that his season-to-date has not been entirely a matter of moving to the National League. Featuring a curveball the Sox just could not lay off to go with some excellent fastball command, Gonzalez held the Sox scoreless and without much in the way of contact through the first six innings.

The team had its rally in the seventh off the tiring Gonzalez and the first line of defense out of the bullpen, but as in last night's game it was too little, too late.

So here we are, back beneath 500, on a 1-5 run, in the middle of June, with "health" still a good few weeks away, if it ever arrives (I sincerely wonder whether or not Pedroia is really good to go. He had another bad day offensively, with his only hit being an infield single). The goal has been to stay afloat, and the Sox have done that, but they're not to far from seeing that escape their grasp as well. It's been a tough couple of matchups, and the Orioles have done enough to show that they shouldn't be considered pushovers by any means, but the Sox need to find themselves on a winning streak again sometime soon.