BOSTON (AP) -- Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched his first major league complete game to start a four-game series between the AL's two top teams and the Boston Red Sox took their biggest lead in the standings in 12 seasons with a 7-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Matsuzaka (5-2) was outstanding for his second consecutive outing after three straight mediocre starts. He allowed just six hits, struck out five and walked none. He was dominant after Curtis Granderson's solo homer in the third. No other runners made it past second base.
The AL East-leading Red Sox improved to 26-11, while the AL Central-leading Tigers fell to 23-14 with their second straight loss. Both teams are 11-3 in their last 14 games.
Boston's 8 1/2-game division lead is its biggest since it held the same margin after play on Sept. 26, 1995. The idle New York Yankees dropped 8 1/2 games back, their largest division deficit since they trailed by nine games after play on May 7, 2005.
The Red Sox, now 20-0 when scoring at least five runs, tied it on David Ortiz's RBI single in the third off Nate Robertson (3-3). Coco Crisp singled home the go-ahead run in the fourth and Manny Ramirez added a run-scoring single in the fifth.
Matsuzaka became the fourth five-game winner in the AL, joining teammate Josh Beckett, with seven wins, and John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels and C.C. Sabathia of Cleveland, with five each.
The rookie who cost the Red Sox $103 million to bring him over from Japan, retired his last seven batters, six on grounders and one on a strikeout. Only three outs went to the outfield.
Matsuzaka won his fourth straight decision and has allowed just two runs in his last 16 innings. He threw a season-high 124 pitches in Boston's first complete game of the season. In his previous start, he gave up one run and five hits in seven innings in a 9-3 win at Toronto. That followed a three-game stretch in which he allowed 17 earned runs but was 2-0.
Leading 3-1, the Red Sox capped their 15-hit attack with four runs in the eighth off Bobby Seay on a bases-loaded triple by Julio Lugo and an RBI single by Kevin Youkilis.