Red Sox Return Home, Beat Twins 1-0

The Boston Red Sox were back where they win. Coming off a 3-7 road trip, the Red Sox got great starting pitching from Daisuke Matsuzaka and a clutch hit from Manny Ramirez for a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.

Boston, which fell into second place behind Tampa Bay in the AL East on the road trip, improved to 23-6 at Fenway Park this season.

Matsuzaka pitched 7 1-3 innings, allowing six hits, walking three and striking out five. Hideki Okajima (2-2) escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth for the win and Jonathan Papelbon got the final three outs for his 26th save as Boston posted its major league-best 10th shutout.

"Of all our starting pitchers, I'm the only one who hasn't been able to get really deep into the games," Matsuzaka said through a translator. "So what I've been trying to do is go deep into the game and help out the bullpen."

Matsuzaka hadn't pitched beyond five innings in his three starts since returning from the DL on June 21.

"That was probably his best outing as far as his ability to command the strike zone," Boston catcher Jason Varitek said. "It's good. It seemed like our bats were a little slow. We needed a good pitching performance."

In other AL games on Monday, it was: Kansas City 7, Tampa Bay 4 in 10 innings; Los Angeles 9, Texas 6, and Oakland 4, Seattle 3.

Dustin Pedroia extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games with a double on the first pitch from reliever Brian Bass (3-3) in the eighth. A groundout moved Pedroia to third and Ramirez lined a single to right through a drawn-in infield.

Scott Baker allowed five hits, walked two and struck out seven in seven innings in matching Matsuzaka.

"A heck of a baseball game," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think both teams had lots of opportunities all the way through. They finally came through and got a hit."

The Twins lost just their fourth in 22 games, ending a five-game winning streak.

"Obviously, with them playing at home, they play very well here," Baker said. "I gave it everything I had. We made some great defensive plays, allowing me to continue to pitch and pitch into the seventh inning."

Minnesota's Alexi Casilla extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 with a bunt single in the eighth inning.

This program aired on July 8, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.


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