Bottom of the second in Japan

Top of the second

Reigning World Series MVP, Mike Lowell hits a line drive into the centerfield for a single. Brandon Moss, replacing J.D. Drew in the line up with a lower back injury, gets the start in right field. Moss quickly down in the count to Joe Blanton. Moss hits a chopper to short, Crosby to second for the fielder’s choice to record the out on Lowell, Moss safe at first. The Red Sox Captain gets his first at-bat of the 2008 campaign as he steps to the plate and grounds into a Taylor-Made double play shortstop to second to first. At the end of one and a half, it’s Oakland 2 Red Sox 0, one hit and one left on base for the Red Sox.

Bottom of the second

Facing the bottom of the Athletic line, catcher Kurt Suzuki jumps on the first pitch from the Red Sox right hander and drops a bloop single into centerfield. Matsuzaka gets right fielder Ryan Sweeney to hit a long pop fly to Moss in right field for the first out, Suzuki stays at first. Full count to the lead off hitter, Buck, with one out and Suzuki at first going on the pitch, Buck swings and misses at the high fastball for the second out of the inning, Suzuki safe at second with his first stolen base of the season. Ellis comes to the plate for the second time after hitting a homerun in his first at bat, falls down in the count 0-2 to Matsuzaka but works the count to 3-2. Matsuzaka appears to be laboring early on in the game. After getting a head in the count early, Matsuzaka loses Ellis to a walk. Suzuki still at second, Ellis at first. Barton ahead in the count 3-1 against Matsuzaka. In five pitches, Matsuzaka walks the bases loaded, Suzuki moves up to third and Ellis to second as Cust steps to the plate for his second at bat. In two innings, before facing Cust, Matsuzaka had 55 pitches with 30 in the first inning but gets a head of Cust 0-2. Julian Tavarez is warming in the Red Sox bullpen, underneath the stands. Matsuzaka gets Cust to strike out looking, stranding three Athletics on base. After two, it’s Oakland 2, Red Sox 0, one and three left for the Athletics.

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