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Dice-K pitches a complete game

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  May 14, 2007 09:51 PM

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Daisuke Matsuzaka has pitched the first nine-inning complete game by a rookie for the Red Sox since July 29, 1994 when Tim VanEgmond beat the Brewers at Fenway, 7-2.

Matsuzaka won it 7-1, taming what had been a hot Tiger lineup, holding them to six hits. In the ninth, Gary Sheffield started the inning with a soft single to left field but then Dice-K retired Magglio Ordonez with a called third strike, Carlos Guillen with a flyball out to center field and with the crowd chanting "Let's Go Dice-K" the Japanese star brought the crowd to its feet with Pudge Rodriguez up. The catcher grounded out to third baseman Mike Lowell on his 124th pitch to end the night.

It was 3-1 game until the eighth when the Sox broke it open with four runs. Julio Lugo's bases-loaded triple accounted for three of the runs and Kevin Youkilis also knocked in one.

The only run off of Matsuzaka was a third inning home run by Curtis Granderson.

Just for kicks, here's the game story of VanEgmond's game in '94:

SOX HIT HOME
By Marvin Pave, Globe Staff

They began a 10-day, 12-game homestand last night with rookie Tim VanEgmond's first major league victory, a complete-game 7-2 verdict against the Milwaukee Brewers. But with a strike looming in two weeks, this could be the last we'll see of the Red Sox in Fenway Park until April 1995.

That may be bad news or good news, considering their double-digit deficit in the American League East and key injuries to a handful of veterans, the latest a sore shoulder that could put Mike Greenwell on the disabled list.


The 1994 season has thus partially evolved into a major league tryout camp for numerous members of the Pawtucket shuttle, including VanEgmond (1-3), who last year at this time was flinging 'em up in New Britain, Conn.

VanEgmond, who only three outings ago gave up seven earned runs in the first inning at California, was superb last night before a Fenway Park crowd of 33,528. He allowed just five hits and was supported by a pair of Mo Vaughn homers (Nos. 23 and 24) and the work of second base man Tim Naehring, who came up with three hits and two defensive gems.

"VanEgmond gave our bullpen a needed rest," said manager Butch Hobson. ''In California, he was so critical of himself. He told me, 'Please give me one more chance. If I pitch like this again, you won't have to send me down. I'll pack my bags and go.' "

VanEgmond pitched well in his next start -- a seven-inning, six-hit job at Fenway against Seattle last Saturday. He was even better last night.

VanEgmond threw 117 pitches, 71 for strikes, in ending Milwaukee's three- game winning streak. Hobson was ready to relieve VanEgmond after seven innings, but when the Red Sox put a "4" on the board in the bottom of the seventh for their five-run lead, he stayed with the rookie.

It was a far cry from his fiasco in Anaheim. "I was real disappointed in myself after that game," said VanEgmond. "Not because of the seven runs. But I pretty much gave up, hoping someone would come and get me. That's what I was ashamed of. I told Butch that was never going to happen again."

The Red Sox scratched out two runs against Brewers lefty starter and loser Angel Miranda (1-4) in the first on Vaughn's grounder and Tom Brunansky's sacrifice fly.

VanEgmond, who retired 16 of the first 17 batters he faced, breezed through the early innings, touched only for a third-inning leadoff single by John Jaha. That's when Naehring made the first of two fine plays in as many innings, roaming behind second to glove Jeff Cirillo's grounder.

Naehring was at it again in the fourth, ranging wide to his left to field leadoff batter Alex Diaz' grounder, then throwing him out after completing a somersault.

The Brewers cut the deficit in half in the sixth on Diaz' sacrifice fly.

But the rookie got out of the inning, leaving two runners aboard when he retired Greg Vaughn on a lazy fly to Wes Chamberlain in right. The next ball hit to right wasn't lazy: It came off the bat of Vaughn leading off the bottom of the sixth and wound up 425 feet away in the seats.

VanEgmond was touched for a Jaha homer into the center-field bleachers before getting out of the seventh with another one-run lead (3-2) that quickly mounted.

When the Red Sox put runners at second and third in their half, Miranda was yanked in favor of Jaime Navarro, who was greeted by Naehring's third hit, a line single to right that made it 4-2. Valentin followed with a sacrifice fly.

Vaughn then made it a four-run inning and four-RBI game with a two-run homer.

The Boston bullpen door never opened after that.


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