Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched eight shutout frames to pace surging Boston past Cleveland, 4-1, in the first of four games.
Matsuzaka (5-2) was strong, mixing hard and soft, in and out, allowing four hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Marco Scutaro finished 3-for-4, all doubles, with two runs scored for the Red Sox, who have won three of four and are an AL-best 15-5 since May 17.
Fausto Carmona (4-5) was effectively wild in the loss, giving up three runs -- two earned -- on five hits over six-plus frames. He only lasted six thanks to a mounting pitch count due almost entirely to six walks.
Austin Kearns' solo shot in the ninth accounted for Cleveland's lone run. The Indians have lost two straight and eight of 10 at home versus the Red Sox since the start of the 2007 season.
Daniel Bard pitched the ninth because the team placed Jonathan Papelbon on the three-day family leave/bereavement list prior to the game.
Boston gave Matsuzaka a quick lead in the first thanks to Scutaro's leadoff double and Kevin Youkilis' sacrifice fly later in the frame.
The Red Sox added anoter tally in the third thanks to, believe it or not, David Ortiz's speed. Josh Reddick reached on an error by Carmona, stole second, moved to third on a Dustin Pedroia grounder and scored when Ortiz beat out what appeared to be a dead double play ball.
The Indians didn't put more than one man on base through the first six frames, as Kearns was thrown out at third after an Adrian Beltre fielding error in the first and Jason Donald was thrown out trying to steal second to finish off the fifth inning.
Boston again played small ball in the seventh, again with a Scutaro two-bagger setting the table. Pedroia followed the double with a walk and an Ortiz force out put men at the corners. Youkilis followed with a walk to fill the bases and former Indian Victor Martinez lofted a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 edge.
The visitors hammered a few more pitches in the eighth with Beltre's leadoff double off the right-field high wall and Bill Hall crushing a pitch off the left-field wall for a run-scoring single, as he was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into extra bases.
Kearns' ninth-inning solo shot capped the scoring.
Boston activated pitcher Boof Bonser from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday...Martinez finished 2-for-4 in the win...Kearns had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with his fifth home run.