Organizational One-Stop: 4/9/08

Chris Smith made an impressive season debut for Pawtucket, but the PawSox were the only affiliate to record a win Tuesday as the Sea Dogs, JetHawks and Drive all fell. Here's the recap:

Red Sox: Daisuke Matsuzaka struck out seven in 6 2/3 shutout innings and Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-3 with two RBI as the Sox won their home opener by blanking the Tigers, 5-0, in front of another sellout crowd of 36,567 at Fenway Park. Matsuzaka allowed four hits and issued four walks as he lowered his ERA to 1.47. Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima finished the shutout by combining to allow one hit and striking out four in 2 1/3 innings. Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek and Julio Lugo each had two hits for the Sox, who resume the three-game series with the winless Tigers tonight when Jon Lester takes the mound.

Triple-A Pawtucket: Chris Carter had two hits and an RBI to raise his average to .450 and Chris Smith pitched well in a spot start as the PawSox beat Lehigh Valley, 4-1, in front of 3,662 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. Smith, who was promoted from Double-A Portland when Bartolo Colon was placed on the disabled list, allowed only two hits and one walk and struck out seven in four shutout innings. In five innings at Pawtucket last season, Smith allowed five runs (one earned) on 12 hits. Abe Alvarez earned the win by striking out two in 2 1/3 hitless innings. Lee Gronkiewicz earned the save by allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth. Bobby Kielty, Jeff Bailey and Dusty Brown all had an RBI for the PawSox, who take on Lehigh Valley again tonight. Charlie Zink is scheduled to start for the PawSox.

Double-A Portland: There will be no unbeaten season for the Sea Dogs. Mike James gave up a game-winning solo homer in the bottom of the 11th as Connecticut edged the Sea Dogs, 2-1, in front of 1,016 in Norwich, CT. The Sea Dogs, who won their first four games, were limited to four hits by a quartet of Connecticut pitchers. Jay Johnson produced the Sea Dogs' only run with a seventh inning sacrifice fly. Justin Masterson was impressive in his second start of the year as he gave up just two hits and walked none while whiffing seven in five scoreless innings. Jose Vaquedano threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings and Hunter Jones struck out the side in the ninth. The Sea Dogs conclude a season-opening road trip tonight, when Daniel Haigwood takes the mound.

Single-A Lancaster: This one only took nine innings. The JetHawks, who won the longest game in team history Monday and Tuesday, had just four hits as they fell to Inland Empire, 3-1, in front of 1,130 in San Bernardino, CA. Lars Anderson's solo homer in the first provided the only run for the JetHawks. Travis Beazley took the loss despite allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings. Josh Papelbon walked two and struck out four in 2 1/3 hitless innings. The JetHawks' season-opening road trip ends tonight, when Adam Mills opposes Inland Empire.

Single-A Greenville: You know it's a bad night when a catcher is the only pitcher unscored upon. The Drive had to rely on Wil Vazquez to mop up a 13-2 pasting at the hands of Lexington in front of 4,491 in Lexington, KY. Vazquez threw a perfect eighth inning, but the game was long out of hand by then as Lexington battered a quartet of Drive pitchers for 18 hits in the first seven innings. Starter Jose Alvarez gave up five runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out three in 3 1/3 innings. Ryne Lawson labored through his two-thirds of an inning, during which he gave up four runs on three hits and three walks. Yamaico Navarro and Manuel Arambarris each had an RBI for the Drive while Navarro and David Mailman had two hits apiece. The Drive will attempt to get back on track tonight, when Chris Province starts against Lexington.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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