A walk, a run and Sox lose

A fan shows his support for Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka during baseball action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Tuesday. (AP photo/CP, Adrian Wyld)

Wednesday, April 18

TORONTO (AP) — Daisuke Matsuzaka's lack of control in a key situation cost him against the Toronto Blue Jays. Dice-K struck out 10 over six innings but forced in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded walk to Gregg Zaun in the fourth, and Toronto beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1 last night despite getting just three hits.

Matsuzaka (1-2) retired his first eight batters and Wily Mo Pena's third-inning homer gave him a lead, but Lyle Overbay's single tied the score in the two-run fourth.

Jason Frasor, taking over as closer while B.J. Ryan is sidelined by a sprained elbow, got four outs for his first save since Sept. 20, 2005, against Seattle. He retired David Ortiz on a groundout to end the eighth with a runner on, then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Manny Ramirez lined out, and Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell grounded out.

Matsuzaka allowed just three hits and three walks in six innings as his ERA rose from 2.57 to 2.70. He struck out 10 for the second time in three starts — the previous pitcher to reach double-digit strikeouts twice in his first three major league starts was the Los Angeles Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

Gustavo Chacin (2-0) allowed one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, and Casey Janssen got three outs before Frasor came in.

Matsuzaka's Toronto debut, combined with a $2 Canadian ticket promotion, helped draw a crowd of 42,162, Toronto's biggest since opening day.

Pena, starting in right as J.D. Drew got a night off from the starting lineup, was 0-for-7 this season before his homer, which bounced off the center-field restaurant.

Vernon Wells started Toronto's fourth-inning rally with a one-out single, Thomas walked on four pitches and Overbay singled under the glove of shortstop Julio Lugo.

Aaron Hill fell behind on an 0-2 count, then worked out a nine-pitch walk, and Zaun walked on five pitches. Matsuzaka threw two balls to Jason Smith, got a swinging strike, then retired Smith on a flyout to the warning track in center.

Matsuzaka struck out four in a row at one stretch, getting Alex Rios, Adam Lind and Wells in the fifth, then Thomas leading off the sixth.

Drew pinch hit and walked leading off the eighth, but was doubled up when he broke for second on Lugo's liner to third. Coco Crisp followed with a single before Frasor relieved.

Hideki Okajima relieved Matsuzaka in the seventh and struck out the side in his only inning.

Notes: Toronto's past three wins have all been by 2-1 scores. ... Toronto OF Reed Johnson underwent surgery on a herniated disk in his lower back on Tuesday. He's not expected back until July. ... A moment of silence before the game honored the victim's of Monday's shooting spree at Virginia Tech.


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