Devil Rays 5, Red Sox 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Daisuke Matsuzaka has been as good as advertised. If Boston would just score some runs for him, he’d have the record to prove it.
Matsuzaka took a six-hit shutout into the seventh before being lifted after allowing Navarro’s solo homer on an 0-2 pitch and a one-out single to Josh Wilson. Dice-K was charged with two runs and eight hits.
“Dice-K was so good,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “His off-speed all day was sharp. He left a split up to Navarro.”
Manny Delcarmen replaced Matsuzaka and got Akinori Iwamura to ground into a fielder’s choice for the second out. But Brendan Harris singled and Upton hit a three-run drive to make it 4-0. Pena followed Upton with his 25th of the season.
The Red Sox have scored two runs or less while Matsuzaka (12-8) has been in the game in 10 of his last 12 starts. The right-hander threw seven shutout innings in his previous outing, a 1-0 victory at Cleveland on Tuesday.
“When our lineup is unable to produce runs, my job is to hold the other team to zero runs,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter.
“I got a little frustrated because we scored two runs and I was like, ‘Man, take away those runs, we’re up by one,”’ Delcarmen said. “If I could take them back, I would.”
The Boston bullpen allowed three runs in two innings. It had given up just five earned runs over 33 2-3 innings in the previous 11 games.
Ramirez has hit 40 homers, including 25 at Tropicana Field, against the Devil Rays. He has 1,584 RBIs, which ties him for 32nd place on the career list with Rogers Hornsby and Harmon Killebrew.
Boston, which lost for the second time in 10 games, leads the AL East by eight games over the New York Yankees, who beat Baltimore 10-6. The Red Sox went 5-2 on a road trip that included taking three of four at Cleveland.
“If we do that, we’re going to be fine,” Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell said. “I don’t think we can have any complaints.”
Scott Kazmir allowed six hits over six innings for Tampa Bay. He struck out eight and walked one during his 97-pitch outing.
“Dice-K threw a great game today and Kaz did too,” Upton said. “We knew it was going to be that type of game, and I think we knew that Navy’s home run wasn’t going to be enough with the bats hitting out of that lineup.”
Kazmir worked out of early trouble by holding Boston hitless in three at-bats with runners in scoring position and inducing two double-play grounders from David Ortiz during the first three innings.
“I know you can’t give up much when you’re facing a guy like Dice-K,” Kazmir said. “He’s one of the best arms in baseball.”
The Devil Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but failed to score when Wilson grounded out. Tampa Bay were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position through five.
Ortiz was hitless in three at-bats and is 5-for-32 (.156) overall against Kazmir. Ramirez has four hits in 34 at-bats (.118), including an 0-for-3 performance Sunday, against the Devil Rays left-hander. … Ortiz went 0-for-4 overall to snap his 13-game hitting streak. … Tampa Bay All-Star LF Carl Crawford (sprained right wrist) was out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game. Crawford said he will undergo an MRI exam Monday. … Tampa Bay optioned RHP Jae Kuk Ryu to Triple-A Durham to make room for RHP Dan Wheeler, who was acquired from Houston on Saturday and will join the team Monday.