In only his second major league start, Justin Masterson threw a 3 hitter against the Kansas City Royals to notch his first win. Brought up for a spot start due to injuries in the starting rotation, Masterson limited Alex Gordon to 2 doubles and a single. No one else hit safely until Masterson was relieved with one out in the 7th.
The Sox only provided only 2 runs of support but the bullpen was equal to the task, allowing only 1 ru,n given up by Manny Delcarmen. Hidecki Okajima loaded the bases in the eighth before Jonathan Papelbon came on to strike out Billy Butler to end the inning. Papelbon then struck out 2 more in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Masterson had previously had a 2 hit outing against the California Angels but the bullpen could not hold the lead. This time the lead stuck.
Masterson will now be sent down to Pawtucket to make room on the roster for veteran Bartolo Colon who was acquired by the Sox in the off season from California. Colon was 6-8 for the Angels last year with a 6.82 ERA but it is hoped that a healthy Colon can return to mid career form. We shall see tonight.
The Sox are now in first place, a game ahead of Tampa Bay and 7 1/2 games up on the hapless Yankees who gave up 7 runs in the first inning to the resurgent Baltimore Orioles.