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Red Sox Sweep Halos, Yankees Series Looms

Daisuke Matsuzaka (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

For the first time since beating the Yankees on Opening Night, the Red Sox are again above .500 (at 15-14), and it took a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to do it. Winning the fourth game of the series on Thursday night was no easy feat, however.

The Red Sox were sending the rusty Daisuke Matsuzaka to the hill to face the Angels and Sox killer Scott Kazmir. The Angels jumped out to a 4-0 lead and sent eight men to the plate in the first inning against Dice-K, thanks in large part to three walks. He calmed down after the rough first inning, though, and kept the Sox in the game through his 5.1 innings. He allowed five runs in all on five hits and three walks.

Fortunately, this isn’t your father’s Scott Kazmir, as the lefty also struggled with his command all game. He threw 107 pitches in just 4.1 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and five walks and was saddled with the loss in a 11-6 Red Sox win.

Victor Martinez busted out of his slump with a 2-4 effort, which included a two-run HR and a two-run double to help tie the game at 4-4. The rest of the offense chipped in too, as Jeremy Hermida remained productive from the bottom of the order. Hermida finished with three RBI, including a two-run single to give the Sox the lead for good in the fifth inning.

The Sox scored four more times in the sixth inning to put the game away, as the bullpen managed to limit the Angels to one run over the final three innings to preserve the win.

Sox Stud of the Game: Victor Martinez

With the Red Sox down 4-0, Victor Martinez piled up all four RBI to get the Sox back in the game, which is clutch. The catcher hopefully is turning the corner now, as he’s now hitting .252.

Sox Dud of the Game: Daisuke Matsuzaka

He turned in a typical Dice-K outing (5.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 BB) and earned the win, so I guess I’m not surprised. Hopefully this is just a bump on his road to recover. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, to see Tim Wakefield in the rotation by June.

Game Notes:

W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1)
L: Scott Kazmir (2-2)

  • The white-hot Adrian Beltre went 2-5, improving his batting average to .343. When he wasn’t on base, he was striking out (3 K’s).
  • J.D. Drew remained hot as well, going 1-3 with two runs scored and two walks.
  • The 19-8 Yankees come to town next for a three-game series. With a sweep, the Red Sox are right back in the race, but how likely is that?

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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