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