SPLITSVILLE

     After Fridays’ rainout, the PawSox were faced with their first doubleheader of 2010.  It looked for a while like the PawSox would sweep Rochester, but had to settle for the split.  Game one was important.  Not only did Pawtucket win 1-0, but Red Sox star Daisuke Matsuzaka made a great impression.  Dice-K, on the disabled list with a strained neck, looked strong and comfortable, firing 5 shutout frames at the Red Wings.   He surrendered a mere 2 hits, walked one and fanned three.  Matsuzaka was pitch-efficient, throwing 73 bullets in his outing.  He notched the win, 1-0, thanks to an rbi single by Aaron Bates.

     Dices’ work was far from over.  He footed the bill for the post-game “spread” in the Pawtucket clubhouse.  As you may know, this is a common practice for a veteran Major Leaguer, when on a rehab assignment.  Thursday night, Alan Embree treated the guys to steaks from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.  I don’t know what Dice bought.  I made my way through the clubhouse quickly after conducting the on-field post-game interview with game 2 starting pitcher, Adam Mills.  Had to get back upstairs to finish the broadcast.  I can tell you this- it smelled great and it looked like there was plenty.

     Mills was another bright spot on Saturday afternoon.  His four shutout innings were a highlight in a 4-2 loss.  Mills gave up 3 hits and no walks, with a strikeout.  The Rochester trio of Glen Perkins, Matt Fox and Anthony Slama handcuffed the PawSox offense, allowing just 2 hits.  Daniel Nava and Bubba Bell each had a hit and an rbi.  Manager Torey Lovullo has managed to incorporate all of his position players into at least one game each.

     With Boof Bonser and Dice -K currently in the rotation, pitchers like game 2 loser Kris Johnson will be relegated to bullpen duty.  Lovullo knows what he has to do.  “It’s a priority, getting Boof and Dice ready for Boston.  It does make things chaotic at the beginning of the year, but it’s important.”  Torey added that we should expect Matsuzaka to make another couple of starts for the PawSox. “It’s exciting to see him up and running.  There’ll probably be another (Pawtucket) start or two.  We’ll get Dices’ feedback and go from there.

     Another positive outing from veteran Alan Embree.  The Sox will use him as much as possible between now and the fifteenth.  The lefty has an “out” option in his contract, meaning that if he isn’t with Boston by that date, he is free to negotiate with any other club.

     The series with the Wings concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.  Yoslan Herrera faces Fabio Castro.  

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