Rapid Reaction: Sox 18, Jays 6
September, 13, 2011
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- It took him eight tries, but Red Sox veteran Tim Wakefield finally collected his 200th career victory with an 18-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Wakefield worked six innings and allowed five runs on six hits (two home runs) with two walks and six strikeouts. He threw 96 pitches (62 strikes) and when he walked off the field after the top of the sixth inning, he was greeted with a standing ovation from the 38,020 fans in attendance. The crowd roared even louder when he came out of the dugout for a postgame interview.
The 45-year-old knuckleballer becomes the 108th pitcher in major league history, and the 89th modern-day player, to record 200 wins. At 45 years and 42 days, he's the second-oldest pitcher to reach the mark. Jack Quinn won his 200th at 46 years, 339 days in 1930.
His pursuit toward this milestone began on July 31, 1992 when he earned his first victory as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and registered the win against the St. Louis Cardinals.
His 186 wins with the Red Sox is second all-time in franchise history behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young, both of whom won 192 for Boston.
Wakefield is first in Red Sox history in innings pitched (2,997) and games started (428). He also ranks second in strikeouts (2,037).
EXTENDED: Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury went 4-for-5, including a double, home run and a pair of singles to extend his current hitting streak to 17 games. He also set a career high for hits in a season with 190. He registered 188 hits in 2009.
BADA BING: After Ellsbury led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run, teammate Dustin Pedroia followed with a solo shot. It’s the 10th time this season the Red Sox have hit back-to-back home runs. It was Pedroia's 19th roundtripper of the season. He didn’t stop there. He crushed a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to give him five RBIs on the night, matching a career-high. He finished the night 4-for-5, including two doubles, two homers, a sacrifice fly and four runs scored. With his 25 stolen bases and 20 homers, Pedroia becomes the seventh player in Red Sox history to reach at least 20 in each category. It’s the eighth time in team history that has been accomplished.
DYNAMIC DUO: It’s the first time in team history that two players (Pedroia and Ellsbury) have reached the 20/20 plateau.
YOUK RETURNS: After missing three games because of a sore hip and sports hernia, Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup Tuesday night. He batted fifth and in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first, Youkilis was drilled in the left knee by a pitch from Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow. Youkilis remained in the game and finished the night 0-for-3. With the Red Sox holding a six-run lead in the top of the eighth inning, Youkilis was removed from the game and replaced by Mike Aviles.
SCOOTING: Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro provided an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning for his 1,000th career hit.
SCRATCHED: Designated hitter David Ortiz was a late scratch from the lineup because of back spasms. Ortiz was originally in the lineup as the cleanup hitter but was replaced by Jed Lowrie in the bottom of the first. Lowrie finished the night 0-for-4. Conor Jackson replaced him in the bottom of the eighth inning.
UP NEXT: The Red Sox sent right-hander John Lackey (12-12, 6.30 ERA) to the mound against Toronto lefty Ricky Romero (14-10, 3.01) Wednesday in a 1:35 matinee at Fenway Park. Lackey has a 5-7 career record against the Blue Jays, including a 5.58 ERA. He struggled his last outing against the Tampa Bay Rays and lasted only three innings and allowed five runs on five hits with three walks in a 7-2 loss last week.