By Brian Willwerth
PAWTUCKET, RI – If he keeps pitching like this, there’s a good chance we’ll see Daisuke Matsuzaka back in Boston in the very near future.
Making a rehab start Monday night for the Pawtucket Red Sox, he held the Rochester Red Wings scoreless into the fifth inning, as the PawSox shut out Rochester, 4-0, at McCoy Stadium.
In all, four PawSox pitchers combined on the six-hit shutout.
Matsuzaka went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and three walks. He did have four strikeouts, and when he got into trouble, he was able to work his way out of it.
With two men on base in the top of the fifth, Matsuzaka left the game to a loud ovation from the crowd of 7,789. After Alex Wilson took over on the mound, second baseman Pedro Ciriaco kept the game scoreless with a terrific diving play going to his left, as he atoned for dropping a pop-up in the first inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, the PawSox got on the board when Daniel Nava blasted a home run over the right-centerfield wall. It was his third HR of the season. Nava also helped pad the lead during a three-run 6th with an RBI single. Alex Hassan’s double to right-center brought in the other two runs. The PawSox had ten hits on the night, three of them coming off the bat of Ryan Lavarnway.
Wilson picked up the win in relief, throwing 2 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Daryl Thompson took the loss for the Red Wings.
The first-place PawSox have won four straight. These two teams meet again Tuesday night at McCoy Stadium.