Daisuke Matsuzaka tossed seven innings of one-run ball in his first start back after missing two months with a neck injury, but he’s allowed 11 runs in five innings since then and it sounds like the Red Sox have just about seen enough.
Matsuzaka failed to make it out of the second inning Saturday against the Blue Jays and is now 1-5 with a 7.20 ERA in eight starts since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery.
Asked about his status, manager Bobby Valentine told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal that he’s “not sure” if Matsuzaka will remain in the rotation and added that “we’re going to have some meetings here, with him too … he was very disappointed yesterday and so was I.”
In past years the Red Sox have stuck with Matsuzaka through similar struggles, but the big difference this time around is that his contract is finally over after this season. Boston isn’t exactly overflowing with quality rotation options at this point, but when Matsuzaka’s time with the Red Sox will be over a month from now anyway there isn’t much motivation to keep trotting him out there.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.