Daisuke Matsuzaka went 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, a walk, and had five strikeouts as the Boston Red Sox powered by the Baltimore Orioles, 9-3 at Camden Yards Sunday afternoon.
Boston's offense had no trouble producing runs with a 14-hit attack. The only Sox starter without a hit was J.D. Drew who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Jason Bay (35) and Jacoby Ellsbury (8) went deep with solo shots in the fourth and seventh innings.
With the win and the Los Angeles Angels beating the Texas Rangers 10-5, the Red Sox' magic number to claim the American League Wild Card dropped to seven with 14 games left to play in the regular season.
But there's still a possibility to win the A.L. East.
The New York Yankees currently have a 5.5 game lead (and are trailing 7-0 to the Seattle Mariners). If they lose it'll drop to 5. Boston travels to the Bronx later this week for its final three-game series against the Yanks.
But does it really matter? Of course it's nice to win the division, but wouldn't the Sox rather play the Angels than the Detroit Tigers/Minnesota Twins in the post-season?
Boston's dominance is like no other against Los Angeles and the numbers are clear.
2004 vs. Angels ALDS 3-0
2007 vs. Angels ALDS 3-0
2008 vs. Angels ALDS 3-1
Totals vs. Angels in post-season 9-1
Let the Yankees play the Tigers/Twins, it's not the end of the world. It's about being baseball smart.