Mets - 010 300 100 - 5 8 3Dice was strong out of the gate, retiring ten of his first 11 batters on only 37 pitches. But he faltered in the fourth, after a missed chance at a double play would have ended the inning with the Mets up only 2-1.
Red Sox - 010 200 000 - 3 6 1
With one out, Carlos Beltran hit a ground rule double to right, Gary Sheffield (who had homered in the second) walked, and David Wright poked an RBI single to center. Jeremy Reed bounced to second. Dustin Pedroia flipped to Julio Lugo, but Lugo stayed anchored to the bag and threw flat-footed (and late) to first. The next two batters hit RBI singles and Boston trailed 4-1. (Dice: 5-5-4-2-4, 80)
The Sox got two back right away, though, on a errant throw from shortstop Ramon Martinez. Jason Bay had walked and been forced by J.D. Drew, and Mike Lowell doubled. Down by one run with one out, and Jason Varitek on second, Lugo fouled out to third and Jacoby Ellsbury flied out to center.
The same situation arose in the sixth. Still trailing 4-3, Boston had runners at second and third with one out. Lugo popped up to second and Ellsbury grounded out to shortstop. Boston went in order in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Ellsbury had an infield single in the first (17 games!). Varitek homered in the second. Pedroia had a double and single. Ortiz looked horrible against Santana, striking out three times and grounding into a double play.
Bright Side: Atlanta beat the Blue Jays 1-0 and the Phillies topped the Yankees 7-3.
Johan Santana (1.36, 324 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (12.79, 39 ERA+)
Santana leads the National League in ERA and ERA+, is second in K/9 (11.4), and has the third best BB/K ratio. He allowed two or fewer runs in his first seven starts (an 0.78 ERA), before giving up four in his last outing.
Santana has a 5-2 record; in both of his losses, he allowed no earned runs. Since 2004, he has a 2.75 ERA, tops among all pitchers with at least 600 innings.
On the other side of the diamond is Matsuzaka. Dice began his season on April 9 with an average outing against Tampa (5.1-9-4-3-5, 100), then lasted only one inning against the A's (1-5-5-2-0, 43) on April 14 before going on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue/inflammation.
Dice made three rehab starts for Pawtucket, allowing nine hits and five walks in 11.2 innings, while striking out 14 K (1.59 ERA, 1.235 WHIP).
The injury-plauged Mets -- Carlos Delgado had surgery this past Tuesday to repair a labrum tear and remove a bone spur in his right hip joint, Jose Reyes has tendinitis behind his right calf and is day-to-day, Alex Cora has a torn ligament in his right thumb, Oliver Perez is out with right knee tendinitis -- have lost four in a row (scoring only six runs) and have dropped out of first place in the NL East.
The Mets are 21-19 and are 1.5 GB the Phillies. ... They have not hit a home run since May 13 -- 67.2 innings ago. ... The Stems last played the Red Sox June 27-29, 2006, when they were swept in three games at Fenway.
David Wright Fun Facts: has MLB-best .463 batting average in May ... MLB-best .438 road average ... has 12-game hitting streak (.511) ... has reached base at least three times in each of his last seven games ... in San Francisco series (May 14-16), had nine hits, nine RBI and five stolen bases -- since 1920 (when RBI were first officially recorded), no player has ever had 9+ hits, 9+ RBI and 5+ SB over any three-game span.