MLB: Boston 2, Tampa Bay 0

Oct. 11, 2008 at 12:17 AM
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Clutch pitching from Daisuke Matsuzaka and Justin Masterson Friday brought the Boston Red Sox a 2-0 win over Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series.

Matsuzaka held the Rays without a hit through six innings before Tampa Bay put together big threats in the seventh and eighth. The Red Sox, however, escaped both innings to slow down the magical season of the Rays, who for the first time in franchise history are playing with the league title on the line.

Matsuzaka struck out nine and allowed four hits over seven innings to get the victory.

Nursing a 2-0 lead in the seventh, Matsuzaka gave up his first two hits of the game to open the inning -- singles by Carl Crawford and Cliff Floyd. He then retired the next three batters, two on strikeouts, to wiggle his way out of the jam.

Akinori Iwamura and B.J. Upton had base hits to start the eighth before Matsuzaka was relieved by Hideki Okajima. After Carlos Pena flew out, Okajima was replaced by Masterson, who promptly induced an inning-ending double-play grounder off the bat of Evan Longoria.

Jonathan Papelbon worked a perfect ninth to get the save.

The game was scoreless into the fifth, when Jed Lowrie's sacrifice fly brought home Jason Bay. Boston added a run in the eighth on a single by Dustin Pedroia and a double by Kevin Youkilis.

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