The $103 million investment the Boston Red Sox made in Daisuke Matsuzaka took another hit yesterday when manager Terry Francona said the righthander probably will need elbow surgery.

The team transferred Matsuzaka from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list amid reports he has decided to have reconstructive surgery that could sideline him for at least 12 months.

"It's looking more and more that he's going to need to have the surgery," Francona said before last night's game against the Oakland A's. "He is very driven to come back and help us next year."

The Red Sox also appear to have lost lefty reliever Rich Hill for the season. He has a damaged ligament in his pitching elbow and, like Matsuzaka, likely will have Tommy John surgery. Boston placed him on the 15-day disabled list and called up lefty Tommy Hottovy from Triple A Pawtucket.

Matsuzaka signed a 6-year, $52 million contract with the Red Sox through the 2012 season in December 2006 after a brilliant career in Japan. Boston also had to pay $51.1 million to the Seibu Lions for the right to negotiate with him.

Matsuzaka's best season came in 2007, when he was 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA and finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting.

But after going 31-15 with a 3.72 ERA in his first two seasons, Matsuzaka was 16-15 with a 5.03 ERA the past 3 years, when he had four stints on the disabled list. In eight appearances this year, seven of them starts, he is 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA. In his career with Boston, he is 49-30 with a 4.25 ERA.

The Red Sox said officially Matsuzaka, 30, has a sprained right elbow but reports have identified the injury as a torn ligament.

Noteworthy

* Alex Rodriguez defended having Yuri Sucart, the cousin who supplied him with performance-enhancing drugs, visit him on Yankees road trips. He is banned from team-related activities, but has been seen in the team hotel, which baseball said is allowed.

In games last night:

* At Cleveland, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz homered in a five-run seventh inning and the Texas Rangers routed the Indians, 11-2.

* At Boston, Carl Crawford blooped a go-ahead, two-run single to centerfield in the seventh, and the Red Sox ended a four-game losing streak with an 8-6 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

* At Kansas City, Carl Pavano (3-5) picked up his 100th career victory and Michael Cuddyer homered as the Minnesota Twins beat the Royals, 5-2.

* At Seattle, Justin Smoak, Adam Kennedy and Miguel Olivo homered and Jason Vargas (4-3) threw a four-hitter as the Mariners blanked the Tampa Bay Rays, 7-0.

* At Chicago, Carlos Quentin hit a three-run homer and Brent Lillibridge added a solo shot to help the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers for the first time in 10 games, 6-4.

* At Baltimore, cather J.P. Arencibia hit a grand slam in the fifth inning, as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Orioles, 8-4. *