Once again, Matsuzaka had a one really rough inning, but battled through it and did not let it affect him afterwards. Through the first three frames, he had allowed two singles and a walk on 42 pitches. He had a 2-0 lead (thanks to a two-run HR by Youkilis), but he walked the first three Yankees to begin the fourth (though a called third strike should have been called on leadoff batter Alex Rodriguez). All three of those runners scored, as did a fourth baserunner. Dice-K threw 41 pitches to nine batters in the inning.
Down 4-2, Boston stormed right back against Pettitte. With one out, Lugo walked and stole second (he finished with a fantastic night: single, double, home run, stolen base, 2 walks, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored). Youkilis and Ortiz both singled, cutting the lead to 4-3. After Drew struck out, Lowell walked to force in the tying run and a wild pitch scored Ortiz, giving Boston a 5-4 lead.
After the long fourth, Dice shed his long sleeves and retired the side in both the fifth (Rodriguez K, Giambi 6-3, Matsui F8) and sixth (Posada 3U, Cano K, Mientkiewicz 3U) innings.
The Sox added a run in the sixth on Lugo's solo home run (which he initially thought was a single off the left field wall), a run in the eighth on doubles from Pedroia and Lugo, and four runs in the ninth off Mariano Rivera.
Rivera had not pitched since Monday and came into the game with his team trailing 7-4. He quickly dispatched Drew on strikes, but surrendered singles to Lowell (13-game hitting streak!), Varitek and Crisp. Then he walked Pedroia and was pulled. His ERA rose from 7.11 to 12.15.
Mike Myers walked Lugo to force in a run, Youkilis's grounder scored another one, and Ortiz knocked home run #11 with an opposite field slice to left.
Boston improves its MLB-best record to 15-7. Toronto and Baltimote both lost, so we lead the Jays by 4 and the Orioles by 4.5. New York has lost seven games in a row and, at 8-13, is 6.5 games out of first place.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.00) / Andy Pettitte (1.78), 7 PM
This will be the first regular season meeting between Matsuzaka and Matsui (the Globe has a nice graphic of all previous Dice v Shemp ABs).
Lugo, SS Damon, CF
Youkilis, 1B Jeter, SS
Ortiz, DH Abreu, RF
Ramirez, LF Rodriguez, 3B
Drew, RF Giambi, DH
Lowell, 3B Matsui, LF
Varitek, C Posada, C
Crisp, CF Cano, 2B
Pedroia, 2B Mientkiewicz, 1B
Season Series So Far
0420: Red Sox 7, Yankees 6The Yankees have lost six in a row and are in the AL East basement. They have also pulled Kei Igawa from the rotation and will go with Jeff Karstens and his 14.54 ERA on Saturday afternoon.
0421: Red Sox 7, Yankees 5
0422: Red Sox 7, Yankees 6
Johnny Damon: "There's going to be panic soon if the winning doesn't start." ... New York starters are averaging 4.9 innings per appearance, worst in the majors.
Bob Klapisch, ESPN: "The manager's decision to use Rivera in the eighth inning last Friday at Fenway also stunned observers. "Five outs? In April?" one executive asked incredulously." ... Four Yankee relievers are on a pace to appear in more than 100 games.
David Ortiz is 53-for-163 (.325), with 14 homers and 26 RBIs in the Bronx.
Red Sox Against Pettitte
Pena is 3-for-8, Crisp 1-for-7, Lugo 4-for-11, Lowell 1-for-4, Youkilis 1-for-2, Hinske 1-for-7.
AB H AVG OBP SLG OPS
Ramirez 62 25 .403 .449 .661 1.111
Ortiz 25 9 .360 .429 .600 1.029
Drew 11 6 .545 .583 1.182 1.765
Varitek 39 15 .385 .419 .538 .957