Dice-K was able to hold the O's to just three runs in five-plus frames before handing things over to the bullpen which allowed just one hit and no runs the rest of the way.
The Sox picked up their third straight series sweep over their AL East foes and its fourth of the season. Boston simply owned the O's all summer, going 16-2 including eight wins in a row dating back to July 31.
Red Sox 9, Orioles 3
Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md.
September 20, 2009
Headliner: Daisuke Matsuzka went 5 1/3 innings and allowed just three earned runs on eight hits. Dice-K struck out five while walking just one and threw 110 pitches — 73 for strikes — in his third win of the season and his second straight.
Dirt Dog: Jacoby Ellsbury and Jason Bay each homered and drove in three runs to steer the Sox offense. Ellsbury finished 3-for-4 and tallied two runs, a double and a stolen base in addition to his eighth dinger of the season. On his 31st birthday, Bay ended the afternoon with two hits and now has a team-high and career-high 110 RBIs on the season.
Better luck next time: O's starter Jason Berken coughed up six runs on 10 hits and was pulled after three frames for the home team. The rookie righty is now 5-12 on the season and 0-3 against the Sox.
Baltimore center fielder Felix Pie went 0-for-4 and struck out three times while Boston's J.D. Drew was the lone Sox starter to go hitless in the win.
Key moment: The Sox broke out the bats early as the plated three runs in the first inning thanks to a pair of walks, a Jason Bay RBI-single and a two-run single by Mike Lowell. Boston would add another run in the second and two more in the third and would score at least one run in six of nine innings.
On deck: Boston travels to Kansas City to take on the Royals as Tim Wakefield attempts yet another comeback.
The knuckler's back and leg have been bothering him throughout the entire second half of the season, limiting the first time All-Star to just two starts since the Midsummer Classic. After an 11-win first half, the 43-year-old has pitched just twice since the break. In 13 career appearances at Kauffman Stadium, Wakefield is 7-4 with a 3.30 ERA.
Hosting Wake and the Sox will be old pal Lenny DiNardo, who will be making just his third start of the season. DiNardo, who pitched for the Sox from 2004-06, took the loss in his last outing, in which he allowed four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Tigers.