By Art Martone
BOSTON -- You could call it a 180-degree turnaround . . . but that might be understating it.
One start after he (almost literally) couldn't get anyone out against the Rays, Daisuke Matsuzaka was virtually untouchable Monday against the Blue Jays. The veteran right-hander pitched seven innings and allowed only two baserunners -- one on a first-inning single by Jose Bautista, the other on a second-inning walk to Travis Snider -- in leading the Red Sox to a homestanding-closing 9-1 rout of Toronto.
Dice-K retired the last 16 batters he faced in posting his first victory of the season.
Jed Lowrie continued his scalding start by going 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBI, and lifted his average back over .500 (to .516). Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury also homered for the Red Sox, who got at least one hit from every starter except Jason Varitek.
Boston took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out, two-run single by Lowrie, increased it to 3-0 in the third on David Ortiz' RBI single, and the rout was on. Lowrie's two-run homer in the fifth made it 5-0, Youkilis' two-run homer in the sixth made it 7-0, and the Sox added additional runs in the sixth (RBI double by Carl Crawford) and seventh (homer by Ellsbury).
Art Martone can be reached at email@example.com.