Hernandez Outshines Dice-K at Fenway

Thursday, April 12th 2007, 8:14 am
By: News On 6

Fenway Park was the place to be, and not just because of the first matchup in the major leagues between Daisuke Matsuzaka and Ichiro Suzuki.

In his first start as a 21-year-old, Felix Hernandez didn't allow a hit until J.D. Drew's leadoff single in the eighth inning and finished with a one-hitter, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 3-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

So much for Dice-K's home debut for the Red Sox.

``That's fine for me when the guys all talk about him,'' Hernandez said. ``I just go out and do my best.''

Three days past his 21st birthday, Hernandez (2-0) struck out six and walked two in his third career complete game in 45 starts. He hasn't given up a run in 17 innings this season.

``With all the hype going into this game with Matsuzaka and Ichiro,'' Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. ``I kept in the back of my mind that people better not overlook our guy.''

In other American League games Wednesday, it was: Minnesota 5, New York 1; Los Angeles 4, Cleveland 1; Tampa Bay 6, Texas 5; Detroit 4, Baltimore 1 in 12 innings; Toronto 7, Kansas City 4; and Chicago 6, Oakland 3.

Matsuzaka (1-1) allowed three runs and eight in seven innings, striking out four and walking one. Suzuki went 0-for-5, with four of those at-bats coming against Dice-K.

``He's a hitter that I've wanted to face since my days in Japan,'' Matsuzaka said, ``so, compared to the other batters, I may have been a little more conscious of his at-bats.''

In Japan, Suzuki was 8-for-34 (.235) against Matsuzaka, including strikeouts in his first three at-bats. That was in 1999 and 2000, Suzuki's last two years in Japan and Matsuzaka's first two as a pro.

Before the first pitch of the game, Matsuzaka squatted several times behind the mound. Then, with cameras flashing and fans cheering, Suzuki stepped in.

``That was a moment that probably only Daisuke and I could have created,'' Suzuki said through a translator. ``To be in that moment, I'm happy.''

Twins 5, Yankees 1

Ramon Ortiz (2-0) allowed three hits in eight innings, giving up his only run on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez, who had homered in four straight games.

New York starter Mike Mussina strained his left hamstring, departed in the third inning at the Metrodome and will likely be replaced by Sean Henn for his next turn in the rotation. Chien-Ming Wang already is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury and pitching prospects Jeff Karstens and Humberto Sanchez also are on the DL.

Kyle Farnsworth (0-1) got only one out in the eighth, which began with a walk to Luis Castillo. Singles by Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer and doubles by Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter drove in runs.

Angels 4, Indians 1

Joe Saunders (1-0), in the Angels' starting rotation because of injuries to Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver, allowed a run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. Francisco Rodriguez retired the side in order in the ninth for his fourth save in four chances.

It was the second game in a three-game series that was moved from Cleveland to Milwaukee's Miller Park after snow wiped out the Indians' four-game series against the Seattle Mariners over the weekend, leaving unplayable conditions at Jacobs Field.

Jake Westbrook (0-1) gave up three runs, five hits and four walks in six innings.

Devil Rays 6, Rangers 5

Carlos Pena and Ben Zobrist homered for Tampa Bay, just 5-36 on the road since June 30.

Michael Young homered twice for the Rangers, who had won four of their previous five.

James Shields (1-0) struck out a career-high eight in seven innings, allowing five runs and five hits, and Al Reyes got three outs for his second save.

Robinson Tejeda (1-1) gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings.

Tigers 4, Orioles 1

Craig Monroe hit a grand slam off Kurt Birkins (0-1) with two outs in the 12th, and visiting Detroit limited Baltimore to six hits. Monroe's first homer of the season was his third hit of the game and third career grand slam.

Wilfredo Ledezma (1-0) allowed one hit in two innings for the win.

Blue Jays 7, Royals 4

Troy Glaus homered and reached base four times at Toronto, and Aaron Hill had three hits and three RBIs.

Gustavo Chacin (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings as the Blue Jays won for the fourth time in five games. B.J. Ryan pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in four chances.

Jorge De La Rosa (1-1) gave up five runs _ four earned_ and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.

White Sox 6, Athletics 3

Darin Erstad hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the ninth off Huston Street (1-1) at Oakland after Jermaine Dye connected for a tying two-run homer an inning earlier.

David Aardsma (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth for the win and Bobby Jenks finished for his second save, one day after blowing a chance in Chicago's 2-1 loss.