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.
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?