Red Sox 18 Blue Jays 6
Winning Pitcher: Tim Wakefield (7-6)
Losing Pitcher: Brandon Morrow (9-11)
After a long wait since July 24th, Tim Wakefield finally earned career win number 200 on Tuesday night in Fenway against the Blue Jays. It wasn't a stellar outing from Wakefield, but the offense provided the run support necessary for him to finally achieve the milestone. In the end, Wakefield ended up lasting six innings, allowing five runs on six hits, two walks and six strikeouts. He also allowed two home runs in the outing, the fifth time he has done so in 2011. Surprisingly, he allowed the most earned runs in a start since the last game he won, in which he gave up seven earned runs. It was a frustrating start to the outing for Wakefield, who allowed a three run home run in the second after the Red Sox had just earned an early 2-0 lead in the first. The Red Sox got the lead right back in the bottom of the second, but, again, Wakefield allowed a long ball, this time a two run shot to Jose Bautista. He would settle down for the remainder of his outing, though, allowing just a walk and a hit and preserving the score and letting the Boston offense tally up some runs to get the win. The knuckleball wasn't great, as he left it up in the zone a number of times, and it finished with a linear weight of 3.0664.
The offense of the Red Sox was very good last night, which was a welcoming sight. The first run came in a big spot with the bases loaded and two outs for Josh Reddick, a situation in which he has just a .515 OPS. However, the Jays made a big throwing error on a grounder to first, and two runs were able to cross. In the fourth inning, with the team trailing 5-4 and recording two quick outs to start, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia went back-to-back and gave the Sox a lead they would not relinquish. These two guys, who also got an RBI each in the second inning, have been described as spark plugs for this lineup, and it showed last night. Both guys went 4-5, the first time all year both have had four hits in the same game. It was also the third time they've each had at least three hits in a game, and the team is now 3-0 in those games. The Red Sox would continue to clobber the Toronto bullpen, eventually putting up 18 runs on 18 hits when it was all said and done.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia continues to be a surprise run producer on this team, as he recorded four RBI for the second time this season. Three of the runs were from a bases-clearing double in the 8th.
- Carl Crawford extended a rather lack-luster hitting streak to six games last night, with his first multi-hit game in that stretch. He got two hits and scored three runs, the third time he has done so this year, and the first since August 6th.
- Alfredo Aceves came in after Wakefield and pitched well. It was a welcoming performance, as Aceves had been struggling in the month prior to this appearance. He pitched two scoreless innings. If he can regain his August form, in which he allowed just two runs in 15.2 innings, that will be big for a team trying to find its identity in its pitching staff.
- The Red Sox gained a game on the Rays in the Wild Card standings as they were losers against the Orioles last night. The lead now stands at 4.5 games.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays finish up their quick two game stint today at 1:35 PM ET. Boston will send John Lackey (12-12 6.30) to the mound against Toronto's Ricky Romero (14-10 3.01).