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Daisuke Matsuzaka did stateside what he couldn't in front of his Japanese countrymen last week.
Dice-K struck out nine and didn't walk a batter Tuesday night, allowing two hits and one run over 6 2-3 innings as the Boston Red Sox beat the Athletics 2-1 in Oakland's home opener.
The star right-hander (1-0) received a warm standing ovation from a crowd of 36,067 that included lots of Red Sox fans.
Kevin Youkilis exhibited the same kind of steady production he had last October to help the Red Sox win another World Series title.
Youkilis went 3-for-4 with a triple and scored twice as these two clubs resumed a season-opening series that began with a split in Tokyo last week.
Youkilis hit a two-out triple off the left-field wall in the sixth, then scored on Jason Varitek's controversial double.
Varitek hit a fly ball off Joe Blanton (0-1) that landed above the yellow line on top of the out-of-town scoreboard in right before bouncing back onto the field. As Varitek slowed at second, he signaled home run, but the umpires did not make a call and manager Terry Francona rushed out to argue.
Umpires met to discuss it, and the play stood as a double.
Jack Cust hit a solo home run leading off the second for the only score against Matsuzaka. Jonathan Papelbon recorded the final four outs for his second save, striking out the side in the ninth.
Blanton had a no-decision in Oakland's Japan opener, a 6-5, 10-inning loss. He pitched well enough to win this outing, allowing two earned runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked one.
After Kurt Suzuki singled to start the third, Dice-K struck out three of the next four batters and retired his final 12. Matsuzaka became the first Red Sox pitcher to start twice in the opening three games of a season since Luis Tiant in 1974.
The Red Sox still must wait a while before being honored for their World Series title back home. Their first game at Fenway Park isn't until next Tuesday against Detroit.
Boston tied Tuesday's game in the fifth when Youkilis scored from second on Jacoby Ellsbury's single. Youkilis slid under catcher Kurt Suzuki's tag attempt at home. Blanton escaped with no further damage on David Ortiz's bases-loaded groundout to first.
A's rookie first baseman Daric Barton made a flop in the field in front of the home fans. On a routine short popup by Mike Lowell just into foul territory in the fourth that bounced off Barton's shoulder for an error.
A moment of silence was held before the game in memory of Joe Kennedy, the former A's left-hander who died Nov. 23 from a heart condition at age 28.
This program aired on April 2, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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