Red Sox 18, Blue Jays 6: Tim Wakefield Finally Reaches 200 Wins Behind Dominant Boston Attack

It took seven tries, but Tim Wakefield finally reached 200 wins Tuesday night thanks to an 18-run attack from the Red Sox offense.

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Red Sox 18, Blue Jays 6: Tim Wakefield Picks Up 200th Win Behind Dominant Offensive Performance

The Red Sox offense has provided--at long last--Tim Wakefield with his 200th win, scoring 18 runs against Brandon Morrow and the Jays' bullpen Tuesday to carry the knuckleballer to the landmark victory and snapping a five-game losing streak in the process. 

For the first few innings the Sox and Blue Jays traded runs at a torrid pace despite the fact that David Ortiz was a very late scratch with back spasms. An errant toss from first baseman David Cooper to a covering Brandon Morrow with the bases loaded cost the Jays two in the first, and Tim Wakefield gave three right back on just three at bats, capped off by a J.P. Arencibia home run. Marco Scutaro and Jarrod Saltalamacchia's hits brought the Sox back on top at 4-3 in the bottom half of the second, and Wakefield quickly repeated his act from the second, giving the Jays two runs on two batters with Jose Bautista doing the long-ball honors this time, leaving the game at 5-4, Toronto.

That, however, was when the Jays ran out of the gas. The Red Sox did anything but.

The lead lasted only one inning for Toronto, as back-to-back two-out shots from Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia quickly put the Sox at six runs, and after a scoreless fifth, Pedroia went deep again to cap off a four-run sixth that essentially put away the game. If that wasn't enough, the Sox exploded for seven more in the eighth inning with the first three batters reaching and Jacoby Ellsbury making two trips to the basepaths in the same inning. Junichi Tazawa closed things out, albeit with a bit of difficulty, and finally sent the Sox to the locker room with a reason to celebrate.

 

Three For The Road

Pedroia All The Way Back

After suffering through a terrible road trip, Dustin Pedroia announced his return to the world of the productive with a bang.  If 4-for-5 wasn't good enough, add in the fact that all hits were for extra bases, two left the park, and then add a hard-hit sacrifice fly, and you've got one of the best offensive nights the Sox have seen in recent days.

 

Dynamic Duo Back At It

Of course, with Pedroia back at it, that gives the Sox the big top-2 that have come through. Together, the two scored eight runs and drove in eight--some of them, of course, coming all at once with the three homers they shared. Amazingly, the stuff you'd expect to see come out of Manny - Ortiz in 2004 is now coming from the top-2 spots...and from a center fielder/second baseman combo.

 

Finally

It took Tim Wakefield seven starts, and he wasn't particularly good tonight, but he finally picked up win #200. Consider that one major bugaboo dealt with. And with the Rays dropping a game to the Orioles, another on has taken a big step back.

 

Red Sox MVP -- Dustin Pedroia

As much as Jacoby Ellsbury is deserving, it's hard to argue with two homers, especially given the context of Pedroia coming out of such a major slump.

 

Up Next -- Wednesday, 1:35 p.m. | John Lackey (12-12, 6.30 ERA) vs. Ricky Romero (14-10, 3.01 ERA)

Oh dear, that's not a very good matchup at all, is it? Still, John Lackey has to have at least a decent game at some point, right? And with Toronto burning through five relievers, Ricky Romero could be hung out to dry if he tires late.

Anything can happen?

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Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 5, End 6: Red Sox Take Big Lead As Pedroia Goes Deep Again

The Red Sox have doubled-up the Blue Jays, as Dustin Pedroia's three-run shot capped a four-run sixth inning for Boston, building their lead up to 10-5.

The big inning started off when Carl Crawford doubled off the wall in left-center. While it doesn't quite make up for the home run Adam Loewen had robbed him of in the third, it was enough to get the Sox started. A sacrifice bunt from Marco Scutaro moved him to third, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia brought him in with a ground ball single to left field. Jacoby Ellsbury continued the rally with a line drive into right, and up came Dustin Pedroia.

Entering tonight's game, the Red Sox had received all of three hits from Dustin Pedroia in his last 34 at bats. Already with two hits in the game, the first pitch to Dustin Pedroia was supposed to be outside, came inside, and then quickly made its way out of the park as the second baseman picked up his second long ball of the night. It would be a disservice to the work of Jacoby Ellsbury to say that Pedroia was carrying this team tonight, but he's coming pretty close.

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Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 5, End 4: Ellsbury, Pedroia Go Back-To-Back To Retake Lead For Sox

The Blue Jays needed three batters to overcome a two-run deficit in the second, and just two to overcome a one-run deficit in the third.

The good news, however, is that it still hasn’t proved enough to hold the lead, as back-to-back Monster jacks from Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia has allowed the Sox to get back on top after the fourth.

While Wakefield had managed to strike out MVP frontrunner Jose Bautista in the first inning, his trip to the plate in the third was rather more productive. With Eric Thames singling on a ground ball to the right side to start the frame, Bautista stepped in, worked a 2-2 count, and then took the seventh pitch of the at bat deep to put the Jays up 5-4.

This time the lead actually lasted a bit, as both Morrow and Wakefield managed a rare scoreless frame between the bottom of the third and top of the fourth. The trend would not continue long. With two outs, Brandon Morrow left a 1-1 pitch up and over the outside half of the plate to Jacoby Ellsbury, who obliged him by going to the opposite field for his 27th homer of the year. Dustin Pedroia followed him, worked the same 1-1 count, and got a breaking pitch in the same spot.

Of course, to Pedroia, that’s high and inside, which is the perfect spot for his home run swing. He took a big, hooking swing, and the ball found its way even deeper into the Monster seats to make it 6-5.

Now all the Sox need to do is avoid giving up runs for the next three innings, score twice more, and they can have another shot at holding the 8-5 lead with two innings left in this exact same matchup!

It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

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Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3, End 2: Tim Wakefield, Brandon Morrow Ineffective Early

The Red Sox and Blue Jays appear to be locked in a shootout, with the Sox currently on top 4-3 after two innings.

The Sox suffered a quick loss as David Ortiz was an extremely late scratch, only being replaced by Jed Lowrie after he was locked into the 4th spot in the lineup. And while his replacement wouldn't come through, striking out on three pitches after Dustin Pedroia doubled and Adrian Gonzalez walked with one out, the Sox would manage to get some runs across thanks to some bad defense from Toronto.

With the bases loaded, Josh Reddick hit a mostly harmless ground ball that made its way to David Cooper, who only had to make an easy toss to first to end the inning. But as Brandon Morrow covered the plate, the toss came in high and bounced off his glove, allowing two runs to come across.

The lead lasted all of three batters. A double off the wall and an infield single put the first two men on base, and J.P. Arencibia went deep, just barely clearing the Monster to give the Jays a 3-2 lead.

Once again, though, the lead didn't last through even the next half-inning. Marco Scutaro led off with a single, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled him home, and after a balk, Dustin Pedroia hit a hard line drive that found a glove in left, but allowed Ellsbry to run home from third and make it 4-3.

The way things are going, this is going to be a pen game before the fifth inning, and the first team to pull their starter might end up on top in the end.

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Red Sox Vs. Blue Jays Lineups: Kevin Youkilis Returns Against Blue Jays

The Red Sox will have Kevin Youkilis back in their lineup Tuesday night as they try to snap a five-game losing streak that has Sox fans and players alike panicking.

Now the Sox face the exact same pitching matchup that started their slide, as Tim Wakefield will have to take on Brandon Morrow and the Blue Jays once again.

The last time, the issue came, depressingly, in the eighth, when Daniel Bard gave up an 8-5 lead that seemed certain to give Wakefield his 200th win. The game could still have resulted in a team win, but some curious bullpen management from Terry Francona led to Matt Albers entering a tie game with the bases loaded, and to a bases-clearing double that sealed things for the Sox.

Once again, the Sox will have a lineup that can score 11 runs. The only question is whether the pitching can give up fewer than 12.

 

Boston Red Sox (85-61)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  6. Josh Reddick, RF
  7. Carl Crawford, LF
  8. Marco Scutaro, SS
  9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

Toronto Blue Jays (74-73)

  1. Mike McCoy, SS
  2. Eric Thames, LF
  3. Jose Bautista, RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
  5. David Cooper, 1B
  6. Brett Lawrie, 3B
  7. J.P. Arencibia, C
  8. Adam Loewen, CF
  9. Chris Woodward, 2B

Pitching Matchup: Tim Wakefield (6-6, 5.03 ERA) vs. Brandon Morrow (9-10, 5.12 ERA) 

 

The Red Sox know this matchup all too well, and they've won it as recently as last week. Brandon Morrow poses absolutely no troubles to the Red Sox, against whom he can boast only one start that could even be called as good as mediocre in three chances. Morrow has given up hit after hit after hit to the Sox, and for what it's worth, the offense hasn't been the biggest problem for the Sox during their bad run.

What has been is the pitching, and it must be said that more Tim Wakefield isn't terribly likely to improve the situation. Aside from a strong relief outing, Wakefield has allowed three or four earned runs, and often quite a few unearned in each of his last 13 starts. Now, against Morrow the lower ends of that could well be good enough, but there's not many teams out there with offense enough to overcome a Wakefield implosion.

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Red Sox Vs. Blue Jays: Desperate Sox Need Big Home Stand

The Red Sox are in desperate need of a hot streak. Can the visiting Blue Jays end the five-game losing streak they started with the same exact pitching matchup set to start?

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