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Wakefield Denied His 200th Win Again

This article is more than 11 years old.
Pitcher Tim Wakefield delivers against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning during of a baseball game at Fenway Park last night.
Pitcher Tim Wakefield delivers against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning during of a baseball game at Fenway Park last night.

However, there was something else that bothered the 45-year-old knuckleballer even more.

"My biggest disappointment is not being able to go into the seventh and give our bullpen the day off knowing what we had in store for us tomorrow," Wakefield said after allowing eight runs (four earned) in four innings and failing for the sixth time to earn win No. 200 - as the Red Sox were beaten by the Oakland Athletics, 15-5.

With severe weather from Hurricane Irene expected in the area Sunday, the scheduled series finale was moved to Saturday evening.

Wakefield, the oldest player in baseball, gave up two runs in the second inning and then was the victim of a six-run, two-out rally in the fourth - the last four runs unearned because catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia couldn't handle a third strike for a passed ball with two outs.

"I take a lot of pride in trying to stop the bleeding there, too, trying to pick up my teammates, not getting a call you think you might get and I wasn't able to do that tonight," he said. "Unfortunately, I couldn't stop the bleeding there in the fourth."

Wakefield is 0-3 with a 4.97 ERA in six starts since last winning July 24. The Red Sox rotation has suddenly gotten crowded with the success of Andrew Miller and the arrival of Erik Bedard, so Wakefield's starts might be limited in the coming weeks.

Asked if he might be tired, Wakefield said, "I feel great. I thought I had some pretty good movement on the ball except there in the fourth inning - the ball started leaving the ballpark."

Manager Terry Francona, who wound up using outfielder Darnell McDonald to pitch the ninth to save pitchers for Saturday's split doubleheader, said, "Not a real good night for Wake. (He was) kind of an inconsistent knuckleball tonight."

Francona said there was no pre-determined plan that called for McDonald to be the position player called on if ever needed.

"I just wanted Mac to try to throw strikes and try to save (the bullpen)," Francona said. "(Franklin) Morales was our next option and he's been up or in probably five, six out of the last seven nights - we didn't want to do that. So, with two games tomorrow, because Mac was able to go out there, maybe we have a better chance of winning the game tomorrow."

Scott Sizemore and Josh Willingham each two-run homers during the six-run fourth inning for Oakland.

Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz hit consecutive homers for Boston, which opened a nine-game homestand after going 6-2 on a recent trip through Texas and Kansas City.

Wakefield (6-6) is looking to become the 108th pitcher to reach 200 wins.

Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington had three hits, and Willingham drove in four runs for the Athletics, who won for the seventh time in nine road games after losing 30 of their previous 37 away from home.

Gio Gonzalez (11-11) gave up four runs, seven hits, striking out five and walking three in 5 2-3 innings for his second straight win after losing five in a row. He picked up just his third road win in 10 decisions.

Leading 2-1 in the fourth, the Athletics scored the six runs off Wakefield - four coming after Saltalamacchia's passed ball on Weeks' strikeout.

Sizemore started the scoring with a home run into the last row of Green Monster seats in left, making it 4-1. After Weeks fanned but reached first, Coco Crisp walked before Hideki Matsui doubled both home with a drive off the center-field wall. Willingham then homered into the Monster seats, his 23rd, making it 8-1.

Boston answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth on consecutive homers by Pedroia and Ortiz. Pedroia's was his 17th, tying his career high set in 2008 when he won the AL's MVP award. Jacoby Ellsbury tripled and scored in the fifth.

The Red Sox had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth, but Gonzalez got McDonald to pop to second. Brian Fuentes relieved and Ellsbury fouled weakly to third. Boston stranded two more in the seventh.

Oakland ended any likelihood of a comeback by scoring four in the eighth against Matt Albers, opening a 13-4 lead.

Boston grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single before Oakland took the lead with two in the second, coming on RBI singles by David DeJesus and Pennington.

This program aired on August 27, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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