Red Sox - 100 000 000 - 1 6 0 Athletics - 140 001 00x - 6 6 0Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-4-5-2-0, 28) faced only nine batters in his fifth start of the season. Six of those nine Athletics reached base, and five of them scored. After the game, the Globe reported that Matsuzaka had told the team he could pitch despite a sore muscle on the right side of his neck. He had been unable to throw a bullpen session before the start.
Clayton Mortensen (5-2-1-2-2, 71) was outstanding in long relief, but the Boston bats could not break through against either Jarrod Parker (6.2-6-1-3-3, 103) and Sean Doolittle (a perfect 2.1 innings).
The night started on a good note. Daniel Nava began the game with a double to right, and he scored on Dustin Pedroia's single to right. Seven pitches in, and Boston led 1-0. After that, however, only three Red Sox runners made it to second base.
There were hints of possible rallies in the fourth and seventh innings. In the fourth, Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a one-out single, and Cody Ross walked. But two ground balls led to two fielder's choices.
In the seventh, Ross walked (and Brent Lillibridge pinch-ran). Ryan Kalish singled and Boston had two on with no one out. Mike Aviles grounded into a fielder's choice and Nick Punto struck out. At that point, Doolittle relieved Parker, and the lefty reliever fanned Nava to end the threat.
Dice allowed a two-out solo homer to Josh Reddick in the first that tied the score at 1-1. He faced five batters in the second and retired none of them. Sean Smith doubled to deep left-center (the ball was catchable, glancing off Kalish's glove), Derek Norris walked, and Brandon Moss hit a three-run dong to right-center. Brandon Inge singled and Chad Pennington walked.
Mortensen walked Coco Crisp to load the bases; it was the first walk he had issued this season (54 batters, at that point). After Jemile Weeks popped out, Reddick's sac fly made it 5-1.
Nava, LFMatsuzaka is making his fifth start of the season. He allowed only one walk in his last outing, a 5.2-inning stint against the Blue Jays. ... Parker has allowed no runs or one run in six of his last seven starts. For the season, he has allowed two runs or fewer in 10 of his 12 starts. He doesn't have enough IP to qualify, but his 156 ERA+ would be 4th-best in the AL.
Will Middlebrooks injured his left hamstring yesterday while stealing second base in the ninth inning. There has been no word on how serious the injury is, but Middlebrooks said it "felt different" than the other times he has been bothered by the hamstring this season.