The Boston Red Sox took their first series win in the month of August Monday afternoon, putting up five runs on Luke Hochevar while Daisuke Matsuzaka held the Royals to one run over seven innings in his return to the rotation.
For an outing that would end up being one of his best in years, Matsuzaka started the game off looking like the same old disappointing Daisuke. Jarrod Dyson drew an entirely predictable leadoff walk, stole second, and advanced to third on the errant throw down from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly stung to right field by Alex Gordon.
The Sox would immediately respond in the bottom of the first thanks to Jacoby Ellsbury. After showing signs of returning to his 2009 self with a long string of multi-hit games, Ellsbury showed the first glimpse of 2011 Ellsbury we've seen in a long time, launching a solo shot into the right field stands off of a high fastball from Hochevar.
While Daisuke would settle down tremendously after the first, Hochevar continued to hit bumps in the road. A scoreless second interrupted only by a two-out walk from Mauro Gomez was followed by a two-run second, as Cody Ross singled home a pair before making the third out trying to stretch it into a double. Then again in the sixth, it was Cody Ross driving in Jacoby Ellsbury before scoring on a James Loney single to make it 5-1.
The closest the Dodgers would ever get to scoring was a pair of two-on, one-out situations in the sixth and eighth. Daisuke would work out of danger in the sixth with a fly ball from Salvador Perez and stike out of Mike Moustakas, however, while Vicente Padilla came in to finish the eighth with a double play. Andrew Bailey came in to handle a quick ninth, and the Red Sox left series winners.
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