Tim Wakefield Leads Sox To Second Straight Win in Cleveland

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Tim Wakefield Leads Sox To Second Straight Win in Cleveland Final, Red Sox 3-2: Tim Wakefield throws 7 1/3 impressive innings and the Red Sox score three unearned runs in the fourth after a dropped routine fly, the recipe for the club's eighth win in 10 games and the 191st victory of Wakefield's career.

Daniel Bard walked one and went 3-2 on Shelley Duncan in the ninth, but froze the former Yankee on a disgusting slider.

The Sox have now gone through their current rotation with five straight excellent starts. Their five starters allowed just three earned runs in 37 2/3 innings in the stretch.

To make matters worse for the lowly Indians, they get to face Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester in the last two games of the series.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 3-2: The Sox are three outs from winning for the eighth time in 10 games and keeping pace in the division with Tampa Bay and New York, both of whom are winning big.

End 8th, Red Sox 3-2: Tim Wakefield's bid for career win No. 191 is still alive, but just barely. Ramon Ramirez came on to clean up the mess in the eighth and got Austin Kearns on a hard liner to right, stranding runners on the corners. Phew.

Daniel Bard is up and throwing in the bullpen. He tossed 16 pitches Monday night.

9:42 p.m.: Hideki Okajima lived dangerously in the eighth, and did not survive. After throwing three straight balls to Trevor Crowe, Okajima gets a comebacker for the second out. But he walks Shin-Soo Choo, forcing Terry Francona to bring in Ramon Ramirez with runners on the corners and Austin Kearns coming to the plate.

9:33 p.m.: Everyone in New England held their breath when Travis Hafner's drive to right looked as if it might tie the game. Not quite enough lift on it, however, and Hafner has to settle for a double. He represents the tying run with one out in the eighth. Hideki Okajima is on in relief of Tim Wakefield, who was fantastic.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 3-2: J.D. Drew comes on to pinch hit with runners on the corners and two outs and flies to left to end it.

Tim Wakefield had a long wait between innings and is at 97 pitches as he goes back out there to start the eighth. Ramon Ramirez had been seen warming up in the pen.

9:10 p.m.: Indians manager Manny Acta has made a move to the bullpen for the second time. Kevin Youkilis is on first base with one out in the eighth.

End 7th, Red Sox 3-2: With the second out of the seventh, Tim Wakefield assumes the Red Sox' all-time lead for innings pitched, surpassing Roger Clemens. Three pitches later he gave up a solo home run to Shelley Duncan, who had not homered in the majors in over two years. Strange night in Cleveland.

Still, let's think about that record for Wakefield. There have been 753 players to pitch for the Sox, and none have gone longer than Wakefield. Pretty darn impressive.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 3-1: Strange night for Trevor Crowe, the Indians center fielder. He has made the two best defensive plays of the night with a pair of diving catches. He also opened the floodgates in the fourth by dropping a routine fly ball, setting the stage for the Red Sox' three-run rally.

End 6th, Red Sox 3-1: Tim Wakefield had retired 15 in a row before Shin-Soo Choo singled with two down in the sixth. No worries. Wakefield gets Austin Kearns to ground to third and remains in charge.

If you have not seen what Stephen Strasburg is doing, find out. Now.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 3-1: If and when Tim Wakefield gets through the bottom of the sixth inning, he will then need just two outs in the seventh to become the Red Sox' all-time leader in innings pitched. Having thrown just 68 pitches, it's a safe bet the knuckleballer will get the mark in this start.

End 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Tim Wakefield needs just six pitches to get through the fifth. It's been lost a bit amid a somewhat awkward season, but Wakefield has a 2.49 ERA as a starter on the road this year, including his five scoreless frames in this one.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-1: David Huff strikes out Kevin Youkilis with two men on to end the fifth. Good job by Huff to not let the rocky fourth get in the way of an otherwise solid start.

With all the attention on Stephen Strasburg, the fact that Armando Galarraga is throwing Tuesday for the first time since his imperfect perfect game was kind of lost in the shuffle.

There will be no controversy for Galarraga in this one. He gave up a hit to Chicago White Sox leadoff man Juan Pierre.

End 4th, Red Sox 3-1: If Mike Cameron had made a diving catch back in the first inning, Tim Wakefield would be working on a no-hitter. And I would incite great anger by mentioning it. Alas, let's just say that he is rolling through the Indians lineup right now and we can all be happy. 

It was a 59-mph knuckler that got Wakefield his fourth strikeout of the night, making Jhonny Peralta look silly for the second out of the fourth.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-1: Both pitchers have now been burned by two-out errors. But while Tim Wakefield just took the ball and threw his next pitch, David Huff did not adjust well, giving up three runs after what should've been the last out of the top of the fourth. Experience and wisdom can go a long way.

The Sox get their first run when Kevin Youkilis drove in Victor Martinez with a double. David Ortiz singled in Youkilis and, after a single by Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall doubled in Ortiz.

Had Trevor Crowe made that catch in center, Huff would've faced the minimum through four innings. Instead his pitch count is at 70 and he trails by two.

8:00 p.m.: I was just about to type how David Huff had faced the minimum number of Red Sox batters through four innings, when all of a sudden center fielder Trevor Crowe dropped a fly ball that would've ended the top of the fourth. As is almost always the case in these situations, the Sox make the Indians pay.

Victor Martinez cruised into second base on Crowe's error and then scored when Kevin Youkilis doubled off the wall in left.

The umpires are taking a look at Youkilis' double to see if it was a home run. It was not.

End 3rd, Indians 1-0: Perhaps these guys know that rain is on the way. Tim Wakefield and David Huff are making quick work of their opponents, Wakefield getting hurt only by an error on third baseman Adrian Beltre.

In case you are stuck in your cave, Stephen Strasburg has been electric so far, striking out six in three scoreless innings in Washington. If you get a chance to flip the dial, please do so. It's something to see.

Mid 3rd, Indians 1-0: David Huff's numbers do not look great, but he has faced a ton of tough opponents on the road, and, oh yeah, took a line drive off his head one start after he had picked up his second win of the year. So it has been a tough go for a guy the Indians like. He certainly looks comfortable against the Sox.

Huff sets down Boston in the third, lowering his home ERA to 3.52.

End 2nd, Indians 1-0: Tim Wakefield works a clean second frame and moves a bit closer to establishing himself as the Red Sox' all-time leader in innings pitched.

Topping the list would not be anything new to Wake. He already is the franchise leader in games started, as well as less glorious categories such as hits allowed, walks, home runs allowed, losses, earned runs and wild pitches.

Mid 2nd, Indians 1-0: Indians shortstop Jason Donald has started a double play to end both at bats for the Red Sox thus far. This time he snags an Adrian Beltre liner and chucks the ball to first to double off Kevin Youkilis, who had strayed.

David Ortiz gave the ball a pretty good ride in his plate appearance, but is now hitless in 18 at bats and batting .083 (2-for-24) in June.

An every-other-month kinda thing working right now for Ortiz, the AL Player of the Month in May.

End 1st, Indians 1-0: As good as the Cleveland defense was in the top half of the first, the Red Sox defense was just as bad in the bottom half. A Mike Cameron gamble that does not pay off puts a runner on third and Adrian Beltre's third error in two games allows that runner to score. With two outs, no less.

I should have mentioned in summing up the top of the first inning that Trevor Crowe's catch was made even better by the fact that if he missed it, Marco Scutaro would've been running for a long time. Cameron made a similar dive on an almost identical liner off the bat of Shin-Soo Choo, but misses.

Choo glides into third base as right fielder Darnell McDonald retrieves the ball rolling to the wall behind Cameron. After Tim Wakefield strikes out Austin Kearns for a big second out, Beltre boots a routine grounder to allow the Indians to strike first.

Mid 1st, 0-0: The fourth pitch of the night resulted in what will go down as one of the highlights of the game, as center fielder Trevor Crowe makes a nice diving catch to rob Marco Scutaro of a leadoff hit.

That was just one of two defensive gems in the inning, helping David Huff through the frame. After Huff walked Dustin Pedroia with one out, shortstop Jason Donald made a great backhand pick to start an inning-ending double play.

It was the ninth double play that Victor Martinez has grounded into. He entered the night ninth in the AL in that category, after leading the circuit by a pretty good margin back in April.

In case any of you missed it, this is what happened to David Huff two starts ago.

7:00 p.m.: As David Huff prepares to face the top of the Red Sox' order and Tim Wakefield bides his time in the dugout, here are a few numbers to get you warmed up for this one.

  • The Sox lead the majors with a 30-16 record since April 20.
  • Boston also tops baseball in at-bats (2,065), runs (318), hits (565), doubles (141), RBIs (308) and total bases (957).
  • Catcher Victor Martinez is 25-for-50 (.500) since May 19 and shortstop Marco Scutaro is 21-for-51 (.412) in his last 11 games.
  • The Indians are 0-8 on Mondays, but 4-3 on Tuesdays.
  • Catcher Lou Marson has thrown out 35.9 percent (14-of-39) runners attempting to steal against him, tops in the AL.
  • Cleveland has scored 44 percent of its runs with two outs.

6:40 p.m.: On another network, they just analyzed Stephen Strasburg's breakfast choices and the C-minus he got on a history test in high school. Will either have an effect? It's doubtful that Tim Wakefield cares one bit.

The 43-year-old still has just one victory in his last 16 appearances dating to July 8, 2009. He figures to get several more starts before Josh Beckett returns.

Beckett has yet to resume throwing after having a bullpen session cut short several days ago with his mechanics off.

6:00 p.m.: As mentioned in the previous post, the Sox' bullpen remains a bit thin without Jonathan Papelbon and with Manny Delcarmen a question mark. If Tim Wakefield can give the team a long start, it would be timely. It could also be historic.

Wakefield is 6 1/3 innings shy of tying Roger Clemens for the all-time franchise lead in innings pitched. Clemens threw 2,776.0 innings in his time with Boston. Wake enters with 2,769.2.

It's been an at-times awkward season for Wakefield, but the milestones have been nice. He picked up his 2,000th career strikeout in a start at Fenway Park on May 12.

5:45 p.m.: Manny Delcarmen may not be available for the second straight game due to his lingering back issues. Thankfully, Daisuke Matsuzaka gave the Red Sox bullpen (with the exception of Daniel Bard) some rest Monday night.

Bard threw 16 pitches in his one inning Monday. Jonathan Papelbon, who did throw at Fenway Park this afternoon, will miss at least the next two games.

Unless Tim Wakefield can muster up the magic that had him flirt with a complete game in Philadelphia a few starts ago, expect to see plenty of Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez and Bard if the Sox are ahead.

In other news, Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way to California to receive a third opinion on his ailing ribs. He will see Dr. Lewis Yocum, the medical director for the Angels. The visit will hopefully rule out anything beyond general soreness in his once-fractured ribs.

Jeremy Hermida is out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game, but with a lefty on the mound he likely wouldn't have played anyway. He may return Wednesday against old friend Justin Masterson.

The same goes for J.D. Drew, who is getting just a rare night off. Drew, who has played an average of 129 games a year for the Sox, has appeared in 56 of the club's first 59. He has started 53 of those contests.

5:20 p.m.: The Red Sox have made another 14 picks in the draft as of this moment, and will continue to draft through the 30th round this evening. Follow the updated list of the team's picks through the remainder of the draft on our site. And take special note of the round 6 pick, especially you Celtics fans.

4:30 p.m.: It feels like the Sox-Indians game and many others around baseball Tuesday are simply the undercard for the big event in Washington. But Stephen Strasburg's debut will come and go. The Sox just need to keep things moving in the right direction.

Here is the lineup Terry Francona entrusts to do so, as well as the starting nine for Cleveland:

Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Bill Hall, LF
Mike Cameron, CF
Darnell McDonald, RF

Indians

Trevor Crowe, CF
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Austin Kearns, LF
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Russell Branyan, 1B
Shelley Duncan, DH
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Lou Marson, C
Jason Donald, SS

7:27 a.m.: Tim Wakefield will attempt to keep alive an impressive streak for the Red Sox' starting rotation when he toes the slab against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.

Boston's other four healthy starters have been absolutely dominant of late, giving up just two runs in 30 1/3 innings during the club's current road trip.

The run has helped the Sox pull to within four games of the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East.

Boston, which has been playing shorthanded, hopes to have outfielders Mike Cameron and Jeremy Hermida available. The status of reliever Manny Delcarmen, who has a sore back, remains in doubt.

First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

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