Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell both hit 3-run homers as Tim Wakefield went 6 1/3 solid innings as the Red Sox sent the White Sox into the AL Central cellar with a 8-5 win. The win for Wakefield was his 11th of the season and he now has a decision in all 20 of his starts. Manny ended up with 4 RBI on the day as he added a RBI single in the 6th inning. Coco Crisp continued his hot hitting as he had three more hits while Manny and Lowell had two each for the hometown team.
The Bosox got on the board in the 1st inning as walks continued to doom the White Sox pitching staff. Jon Garland walked Julio Lugo to lead off the inning but Lugo was erased from the base paths when Alex Cora grounded into a fielder’s choice. Garland then issued his second walk of the inning to Kevin Youkilis. Manny made Garland pay for his mistakes as he put a ball into the Red Sox bullpen for a 3-run homerun and 3-0 lead for the boys from Beantown. Garland got out of the inning as he got J.D. Drew to ground out and Lowell to strikeout swinging.
Wakefield was perfect through the first two innings but ran into a little trouble in the 3rd. He got Rob Mackowiak to strikeout leading off the inning but then he walked Josh Fields. With Juan Uribe at the plate, Fields took advantage of Wake’s slow delivery and stole second base. Fields went to third on a Uribe single. Wake then got Jerry Owens to fly out to Coco in short center, keeping Fields at third. Wake got himself out of the inning as he retired Alex Cintron on a groundball to first base.
The Chi-sox would get on the board in the 5th inning. Jermaine Dye led off with a double and he would go to third on a Mackowiak ground out. Fields brought in Dye with a single cutting the Red Sox lead to 3-1. Wake then got Uribe to fly out to left field. With Owens at the plate, Wake uncorked a wild pitch allowing Fields to move to second. The wild pitch wouldn’t hurt Wake as he got Owens to pop out to Lugo at short.
The local nine would make Garland pay again for issuing walks in the 5th inning. After Garland got the first two outs of the inning, he issued walks to Manny and Drew. Lowell provided the punishment for Garland’s walks as he lined a ball into the first row of the Green Monster seats for a 3-run homer and a 6-1 lead for the good Sox. Coco followed the homer with a single that would chase Garland from the game. Charlie Haeger, a knuckleballer, came into the game for Garland. With Eric Hinske at the plate, a Haeger knuckleball got past A.J. Pierzynski for a passed ball, allowing Coco to get to second. Haeger got out of the inning as he retired Hinske on a ground ball to second.
In the 6th inning, the Red Sox would make Haeger pay for control issues. Haeger walked Doug Mirabelli and Lugo to lead off the inning. Cora moved the runners over a base each on a ground out to Konerko at first. Youk followed that with a sacrifice fly scoring Mirabelli for a 7-1 Red Sox lead. Manny brought in the 8th run of the day with a single. Haeger got out of the inning as he got Drew to line out to left.
Wakefield’s afternoon would end in the 7th inning as he got himself into a jam. Pierzynski led off the inning with a single and went to third on Dye’s second double of the afternoon. Mackowiak brought in a run with a sacrifice fly cutting the Sox lead to 8-2. Fields hit a single scoring Dye and chasing Wake from the game. Manny Delcarmen came in for Wake and was wild to say the least. Uribe greeted Delcarmen with a single moving Fields to second. Delcarmen then walked Owens to load up the bases for Cintron. Cintron laced a single to left scoring Uribe, bringing the deficit to 4 runs and keeping the sacks full for Thome. At this point with the lefty Thome at the plate and Delcarmen struggling, you would have thought Hideki Okajima would come in. Terry Francona decided to stick with Delcarmen and he walked Thome bringing in another run, making it 8-5 Red Sox. Delcarmen settled down to get Konerko. With another lefty coming to the plate in Pierzynski, Francona brought in Okajima. Okie got out of the inning as he got Pierzynski to strikeout swinging.
Wakefield went 6 1/3 innings, giving up 6 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks and he struck out 2 on 96 pitches.
The Red Sox had chances to score more runs in the 7th and 8th innings but were unable to push anything across off of Haeger.
After Okie-Dokie worked a perfect 8th inning, Jonathan Papelbon came in and decided to provide a little more drama to the game. Just like he did with Delcarmen, Uribe greeted Papelbon with a single. Uribe went to second on an Owens single. Papelbon then walked Cintron to load up the bases for Thome. After a visit from John Farrell, Papelbon rebounded to strikeout Thome for the first out of the inning. Papelbon followed the strikeout of Thome by getting Konerko to hit into a 5-4-3 game-ending double play. The save was Papelbon’s 22nd in 23 tries.
The Red Sox finished up the homestand at 6-5 and now the entire eyes of Red Sox Nation will be focused on one person in Cleveland. That person is Jon Lester, who will return to the Red Sox rotation, almost one year after finding out he had a treatable form of lymphoma. The local nine will play 4 in Cleveland before heading to Tampa for a 3 game set.
Today was Vermont Day at the Fens.
Joel PiÃ±ero will be designated for assignment to make room for Jon Lester on the roster.
The lead in the AL East is still 7.5 games as the Skanks took batting practice again off the Devil Rays pitchers, scoring 3 touchdowns while allowing a two safeties (21-4).
With his demotion to the bullpen, Julian Tavarez was available during today’s game.
Big Papi will probably be out of the Red Sox lineup until Wednesday at the earliest.
Today makred the 500th MLB appearance for Tim Wakefield.
The last centerfielder to have 5 RBI in a game for the Red Sox was back in the Carl Everett days.
Jon Garland is tied with Johan Santana at 22 wins for the most road wins since 2005.
This was the first game in 5 years that Wake has appeared in a game with another knuckleball pitcher. Charlie Haeger, who had retired for a brief time to play golf, also throws one.
On the 6-5 homestand, the Red Sox scored 65 runs while giving up 45. They hit .303 and had 11 homeruns while allowing opponents to hit .256 and 6 homeruns. The team ERA was 3.91 and they struck out 75 opposing batters. In the other dugout, the opposing pitching staffs had an ERA of 6.10 and struck out 62 Red Sox batters.