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Published: Tuesday, 6/8/2010

Boston's Dice-K shuts down Cleveland

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND - Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched eight shutout innings and pushed his scoreless streak to 15 in Cleveland, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 4-1 win over the Indians last night.

Matsuzaka (5-2) gave up four hits - all singles - and was never threatened by Cleveland's punchless lineup. The right-hander continued a remarkable run by Boston's starters on the road. In the club's last nine games outside Fenway Park, the Red Sox rotation is 8-0 with a 0.70 ERA.

It was the 150th career win for Dice-K, who won 108 games in Japan before signing with the Red Sox in 2006.

"It's just a milestone that went by, but at the same time I also know that it was a big moment for me," he said through a translator.

"I wanted to go out there and get the ball," he said. "Not for me, but for my third child, who I have not had a chance to get a good game-winning ball for."

He walked two, struck out five, and allowed only two runners to reach second before he was replaced to start the ninth by reliever Daniel Bard, who gave up a leadoff homer to Austin Kearns.

Indians manager Manny Acta was impressed with Matsuzaka's command and how easily he took care of Cleveland's lineup.

"We couldn't get anything off Matsuzaka," he said. "He spoiled our game plan to work the count against him by being aggressive and throwing strikes. He was aggressive in the zone, then used his off-speed stuff and made us chase."

Marcus Scutaro hit three doubles and scored twice.

Boston made the most of its five hits off Fausto Carmona (4-5) in six innings.

The opener of the four-game series was a homecoming for Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez. The three-time All-Star was traded by the Indians last season before the July 31 deadline.

He received a nice ovation before each at-bat and finished 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Carmona only trailed 2-0 entering the seventh. But Scutaro led off with a double and eventually scored on Martinez's fly to deep left off Hector Ambriz, giving Boston a three-run cushion.

The Red Sox went up 4-0 in the eighth when Adrian Beltre doubled, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Bill Hall's single.

Boston pounced on a fielding error by Carmona to open the third to take a 2-0 lead.

Josh Reddick dropped a leadoff bunt down the first-base line that Carmona bobbled after scooping and threw too late to first. Reddick stole second, moved to third on a forceout, and scored when the Indians couldn't turn a double play to get David Ortiz.

Kevin Youkilis hit a sacrifice fly in the first to bring in Boston's first run.

NOTES: Before the game, the Red Sox placed closer Jonathan Papelbon on the bereavement list. ... Squeezed out of at-bats, Indians OF/1B Matt LaPorta was optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Manager Manny Acta said LaPorta, acquired in the 2008 deal from Milwaukee for CC Sabathia, will benefit more by playing every day in the minors than sitting and getting occasional time in Cleveland. Acta said the club sees LaPorta as a future first baseman.



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