Red Sox-Angels Preview
The Boston Red Sox’s second road trip looks nothing like their
first one. Daisuke Matsuzaka’s last outing looked nothing like his
The surging Red Sox look for their first four-game winning
streak of the season Saturday night when they try to continue their
recent dominance of the Los Angeles Angels.
Boston (8-11) lost all six road games on its season-opening
trip, but is now playing more like the club it expected to be when
it broke camp. The Red Sox dropped the opener of this nine-game
trip to fall to a franchise-worst 0-7 on the road, but have since
won three straight.
Matsuzaka (1-2, 6.43 ERA) felt he was pitching for his spot in
the rotation Monday after posting a 12.86 ERA in losing his first
two outings. The right-hander gave up a single in the first inning
and issued a walk in the second before retiring his final 16
batters over seven scoreless innings in a 9-1 Patriots Day rout of
“If I did pitch badly,” Matsuzaka said through a translator, “I
thought there wouldn’t be the next chance.”
The two baserunners matched the fewest he’s allowed in 101 major
Matsuzaka is 2-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three regular-season starts
against the Angels. His lone major league start in Anaheim came in
a 2008 AL division series. He also threw five scoreless innings at
Angel Stadium for Japan to earn a victory over Mexico in the 2006
World Baseball Classic en route to winning MVP honors.
Boston’s starters have allowed no more than two earned runs in
any of the last seven games, posting a 1.19 ERA during that
stretch. Jon Lester pitched six scoreless innings in Friday’s 4-3
“I remember back about the middle of that homestand, somebody
asked me: ‘What’s the best way to get it going?”’ Boston manager
Terry Francona said. “And I said, ‘A time or two through the
rotation and have them give us a chance every night.’ And that’s
exactly what’s happened.”
The Red Sox have captured the first two games of this four-game
set to improve to 11-1 against Los Angeles (12-8) since being swept
in a 2009 AL division series.
Boston has won six of seven overall, but may have to rest some
weary relievers Saturday. Bobby Jenks and closer Jonathan Papelbon
have pitched in each game of the three-game winning streak.
Francona said Daniel Bard was unavailable Friday due to the
right-hander’s heavy usage. Bard should be an option Saturday.
Saturday’s lineup should feature third baseman Kevin Youkilis,
who expects to return after sitting out Friday due to a bruised
“Yeah, I’ll play (Saturday), for sure,” Youkilis told the Red
Sox’s official website. “No doubt.”
The Angels have 16 strikeouts and five walks in this series. The
Red Sox have been more patient with 17 walks and 18 strikeouts.
Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana (0-2, 5.26) has done a good
job of limiting walks, allowing 2.5 per nine innings, but he’s
still seeking his first win. The right-hander yielded season highs
of six runs and 10 hits over four-plus innings Monday in a 7-1 loss
“I don’t think overall he was locked in, but he wasn’t far off,”
manager Mike Scioscia said.
Santana is 2-2 with a 4.31 ERA in eight career regular-season
starts against the Red Sox, including 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA in two at
home. David Ortiz is 7 for 23 with two homers and 10 strikeouts