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Dice-K Bounces Back in Win Over Astros

Daisuke Matsuzaka (9-1) rebounded from the worst start of his major league career Friday night, pitching five shutout innings to lead the Red Sox to a 6-1 win over the Astros. Dice-K allowed just two hits and three walks in those five innings, to go along with four strikeouts. He actually looked half-decent at the plate as well, taking a few nice hacks in finishing 0-2 with two strikeouts.

J.D. Drew blasted yet another home run, this one a three-run shot in the third inning to give the Sox the lead for good. Drew finished 1-3 with that HR and two walks. Drew now has 15 HRs, which is already four more than in all of last season. After hitting three HRs in April and one in May, Drew has connected for 11 in June (matching his total from all of last season) to go with 26 RBI and 19 walks while hitting .358. Yeah, he’s on fire.

Sox Stud of the Game:

Kevin Youkilis did go 4-5, but did not have an RBI or a run scored. Thus, the award goes to Dustin Pedroia, who went 3-4 with a walk, a double, one RBI, and two runs. After blasting him game after game, I must award him for his scorching hot play of late. He’s now all the way up to .295.

Diamond Dud of the Game:

Hideki Okajima continues to blow. In his 2/3 of an inning, Okie allowed two hits, including a solo shot to Reggie Abercrombie. Must he allow a run in every appearance? Okajima allowed only one run each in April and May, but has really pitched poorly in June. In 8 2/3 June innings, Okajima has given up 10 runs on 18 hits, to go with two HR allowed. Yikes…

Game Notes:

  • Jonathan Papelbon earned his 24th save.
  • Coco Crisp will begin serving his reduced suspension (of five games) Saturday night against the Astros.

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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