Twins - 000 000 000 - 0 6 0Dice: 7.1-6-0-3-5, 108. His ERA dropped to 2.84.
Red Sox - 000 000 01x - 1 7 0
Matsuzaka threw strikes -- with a good cut fastball -- and turned in his longest outing of the season. He allowed only six baserunners over the first six innings (and half of those came in the first inning). His pitch counts by inning: 25-9-10 14-12-13 13-12 = 108.
The Red Sox blew a scoring chance in the fourth. Singles from Drew and Ramirez gave Boston runners at the corners and no one out. Lowell struck out, but Youkilis walked to load the bases. However, Crisp popped to third and Varitek flied to center. (Lowell's strikeout was his only batting blemish; he walked twice and doubled.)
In the eighth, Pedroia doubled high off the Wall and took third on Drew's groundout. Manny's single to right field (his second hit of the night) brought home the only run of the game.
The Royals beat the Rays 7-4 in 10 innings, so Tampa's lead was cut to four games.
Scott Baker (3.65, 107 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (3.12, 137 ERA+)
Boston comes home after a 3-7 road trip (giving the team a 21-29 record away from Fenway Park). The Red Sox play three games against each of the Twins and Orioles before the break.
The AL East standings looks like this
W L GBso it looks like we've got ourselves a .... Wild Card Battle!
Tampa Bay 55 32 --
Boston 52 39 5
New York 47 42 9
Baltimore 44 43 11
Toronto 42 47 14
W L GBWoo-hoo!
Boston 52 39 --
Minnesota 50 38 .5
Oakland 47 41 3.5
New York 47 42 4
Texas 46 43 5
Only one other AL East game: Royals at Rays, 12:40 PM
Remember we were talking about how Rogers now runs short car commercials in between at-bats during Blue Jays game? Drunk Jays Fans is (quite rightly) fed up.