ANAHEIM, Calif. — Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed one hit and struck out nine over eight innings, Kevin Youkilis homered and the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.
Matsuzaka (2-2) allowed only four baserunners, none of which advanced past second base. The only hit off the right-hander came with one out in the second — a vicious line drive back to the box by Alberto Callaspo that deflected off Matsuzaka's glove as he tried to protect his face. It caromed off his glove over to shortstop Jed Lowrie. Callaspo just beat Lowrie's throw to first.
Matsuzaka, who came within one strikeout of matching his career high, was coming off a 9-1 win last Monday that ended a career-worst stretch of seven straight winless starts. He came in with a career 5.88 ERA against the Angels, including the postseason.
Los Angeles' only other hit was an infield single to deep shortstop by Erick Aybar against Daniel Bard leading off the ninth, but the right-hander came back to strike out Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter before retiring Vernon Wells on a grounder to second.
The Red Sox extended their streak to eight consecutive games in which their starting pitcher has gone at least five innings and allowed fewer than three runs. The rotation, which has a 1.01 during this stretch, is one game away from tying the longest such streak in franchise history, set in 1946.
Ervin Santana (0-3) gave up five runs and nine hits in seven innings, raising his ERA to 5.51. It's the first time in the right-hander's seven-year career that he has gone winless in his first five starts. Last season he was 17-10, and in 2008 he started out 6-0 in seven starts.
With second baseman Howie Kendrick, catcher Jeff Mathis and center fielder Peter Bourjos all getting rested, Angels manager Mike Scioscia's shuffled his lineup and had Hank Conger, Mark Trumbo and Reggie Willits filling out the bottom three spots in the batting order. The trio was a combined 0-for-8 with six strikeouts.
Boston took a 2-0 lead with Carl Crawford's RBI single in the second inning and a run-scoring single by Adrian Gonzalez in the third. It was only the fourth RBI for Crawford in his first 75 at-bats with the Red Sox, who signed the four-time All-Star to a seven-year, $142 million free-agent contract in December after he drove in a career-high 90 runs last season for Tampa Bay.
Youkilis, who fouled a ball off his left shin Thursday night and sat out Friday's 4-2 win, made it 4-0 in the fifth with a two-out opposite-field homer to right-center after a leadoff single by Jacoby Ellsbury.
Jason Varitek, who came in 1-for-17 lifetime against Santana, drove in Boston's fifth run with a double in the sixth after striking out and grounding out his first two times up. The hit snapped an 0-for-19 drought overall for the Red Sox catcher, who started in the ninth spot in the order for the first time since April 11, 2009, at Anaheim.
The Red Sox have seven stolen bases during the first three games of this four-game series, as many as they had during their first 17 games. … David Ortiz is 11-for-68 with five homers and 10 RBIs against the Angels since the start of the 2009 season – including a dreadful game at Anaheim on May 14, 2009, when he went 0-for-7 with three strikeouts and stranded 12 baserunners in Boston's 5-4 loss. … Matsuzaka made his fourth career regular-season start against the Angels and first in Anaheim. He also faced the Halos twice in the postseason, getting no-decisions in 2008 at the Big A and 2007 at Fenway Park. … Matsuzaka also pitched at Angel Stadium in the 2006 World Baseball Classic for Japan, beating Mexico in the semifinals with five scoreless innings for one of his three victories — and winning MVP honors for the tournament.