Matsuzaka, though, is coming off his second loss of the season in his last start, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim roughed him up for six runs and seven hits in five innings, dropping him to 11-2 on the year, while raising his earned run average to 3.04.
The 27-year-old right-hander, who will be facing the A’s for the third time this season, is 1-1 against them in his career with a 2.41 ERA in three starts.
After picking up an extra-inning win on Friday, Boston’s bats exploded in the second game of this set on Saturday, as Kevin Youkilis homered twice and drove in four runs in the Red Sox’ 12-2 rout.
Jason Bay added a three-run homer and Jed Lowrie contributed a three-run double for the Red Sox, who have won two in a row after a three-game losing skid.
Jon Lester (10-3) cruised to the victory, allowing seven hits and two runs with five strikeouts and a walk over seven innings.
Emil Brown’s two-run homer was all the offense for the Athletics, who have dropped five consecutive games.
A’s starter Dana Eveland (7 – 8) didn’t last long, rocked in defeat for eight hits and nine runs in two-plus innings.
Hoping to get Oakland off the schenid this afternoon will be 24-year-old lefty Dallas Braden, who is 2-1 with a 4.39 ERA. Braden was charged with the loss on Monday against Kansas City, as the Royals reached him for four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Braden has never faced the Red Sox.
Boston, which will be trying for its seventh sweep of the season this afternoon, has won five of its nine matchups with the A’s this season.
The Red Sox haven’t swept Oakland at home since turning the trick from May 9-11, 2005.