By Jessica Camerato
BOSTON - For all those worried by Daisuke Matsuzakas departure from Fridays game against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning with right elbow tightness, the pitcher himself isnt overly concerned.
I have an idea whats going on on my elbow right now, so Im not worried too much about it, he said following the Red Sox 5-4 loss.
Matsuzaka estimates he began feeling stiffness in the third inning. He entered the fifth having recorded four strikeouts, three hits, one earned run, and four walks, helping the Red Sox maintain a 4-2 lead.
But after giving up a single to the first batter of the inning, Ichiro Suzuki, Jason Varitek was noticing a change in Matsuzakas delivery. The Red Sox wanted to be cautious and approached the mound with team trainers.
When the game started I started to feel stiffness on my elbow and I could have continued throw, Matsuzaka said. I didnt really feel that I needed to pull off from the mound. But I left all the judgments up to Titos. So that was his decision to come off from the mound.
Francona thinks he will be able to make his next start. Just as he did on Friday night, Matsuzaka will listen to the team.
Its not really my decision for the next game, he said. But I will see how I feel overnight and I will get checked out tomorrow again.
Mike Cameron hit his first home run of the 2011 season in the second inning off Jason Vargas. Then he doubled his total with another one in the fourth.
The first one I kind of got lucky due to the elements in the park, he said, referencing the wind. The second one, I just put a good swing on it. That was it. The ball was hit pretty good.
The offensive burst is a momentum builder for Cameron, who has had 27 at-bats in nine games this season.
You just keep working when youre not in there, working on the basic things, he said. After that, its just timing. I was able to be aggressive and put some good swings on some balls tonight. Even the ones I wasnt able to hit too well, I was able to be aggressive and put some good swings on it. I feel good about that. The results werent there that I like, but at the same time, its a good feeling.
Prior to Fridays game, Camerons last home run had come on July 18, 2010. His previous two-homer game was September 21, 2009 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Three Red Sox extended hitting streaks of note on Friday:
Jacoby Ellsbury (1-4) - 8-game hitting streak, .389 BA during streak
David Ortiz (1-4, RBI) - 8-game hitting streak, .348 BA during streak
Adrian Gonzlaez (2-4) - 6-game hitting streak, .444 BA during streak
The Red Sox ended their streak of eight errorless games with two errors against the Mariners. The stretch was snapped in the first inning when Darnell McDonald was charged with an error in left field.
The Red Sox lost their first game of the season when leading after six innings. Bobby Jenks entered the game with a 4-3 lead and gave up two earned runs in the seventh inning. The Red Sox had been 9-0 when ahead after six.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba