Athletics - 000 020 000 - 2 5 1Jed Lowrie tripled in two runs in the fourth, giving the Red Sox the lead for good, as Boston cruised to a win and a sweep of the A's.
Red Sox - 100 301 00x - 5 8 0
Julio Lugo has had three games this season in which he has driven in more than one run. Lowrie also has three -- this month! (Please note today's date!)
Matsuzaka (6-4-2-2-8, 105) still had pitch count problems. He came into the game with an average of 17.6 pitches per inning, 2nd worst in the AL. And today he threw: 17-26-12 16-21-13.
But he worked out of a man-on-third-no-out jam in the second and at one point had retired 10 in a row, seven of those by strikeout. A one-out walk and a Barton homer gave Oakland a brief lead.
Jason Bay singled twice and scored twice. He also fielded a ball off the left field side wall and gunned down Mark Ellis -- the second batter of the game -- at second. So far, this guy has the Midas Touch.
Elsewhere, two wild games:
We stay 3 GB, New York remains 5.5 GB.
4:22 PM: Play ball!
3:44 PM: Rain delay with Sox batting in the bottom for the sixth.
Dallas Braden (4.39, 89 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (3.04, 145 ERA+)
Braden is a 24-year-old LHP who made his debut last April, totalling 14 starts and six relief appearances last year (72.1 IP, 6.72 ERA). However, he did strikeout 55 batters in those 72.1 innings, thanks to a superior changeup.
He began this season with 11 relief appearances before joining the rotation on July 22. On that day, he faced the Yankees (5-4-1-4-1; an 8-1 win) and on July 28 pitched against the Royals (6.2-6-4-2-7; lost 4-2).
Braden has never faced anyone on the Red Sox roster.
In his last outing, Matsuzaka gave up six runs in five innings against the Angels (though he walked only two batters). This is his third start of the season against the A's, but his first since April 1.