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Red Sox 4, Athletics 8, End 5: Fourth Inning Meltdown Leaves Wakefield Winless Again

The Athletics have taken an 8-4 lead over Boston after Tim Wakefield allowed six runs to score in a disaster fourth.

The inning started inconspicuously enough. A groundout, a walk, and a pop-up left Wakefield just one out from heading into the fifth inning with just two earned runs. The third out, however, would be a long time in coming. Scott Sizemore got things started by destroying the first knuckleball he saw for a two-run Monster shot. The inning could have ended after that, as Wakefield struck out Jemile Weeks, but a passed ball from Jarrod Saltalamacchia let things continue. The next batter, Coco Crisp, drew a walk, and Hideki Matsui brought both of them in with a double to right field, making it 6-1. Not one to break the trend of scoring in two-run increments, Josh Willingham capped things off with a two-run shot that just barely made the Monster seats, extending the Athletics’ lead to 8-1.

So Wakefield will not have his 200th win tonight, but that hasn’t stopped the Sox from fighting back. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz immediately set to work chipping away at the lead by going back-to-back to lead off the fourth. The Sox couldn’t bring any more home in that frame, but Jacoby Ellsbury’s fifth inning triple would lead to a fourth run.

They’ve still got a ways to go, but the Sox are at least doing what they can.