“DIARY OF A WINNER”


 

TIM WAKEFIELD

A POWERFUL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
Toronto knuckles under to Tim Wakefield

May 10, 2007 ... Five of six wins against the Twins and Blue Jays gave the Red Sox a lead in the American League East of seven games, 10 1/2 over toasted.  A league-best 1.79 ERA for Tim Wakefield, who pitched seven shutout innings in Minnesota in the first game of this trip, seven shutout innings in Toronto in the last, and has thrown 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings.

Used to be the only time Wakefield's name appeared in the same sentence as Cy Young was when someone asked whether the 40-year-old knuckleballer intends to pitch as long as old Young did (44). Wakefield set down 16 Jays in a row, a streak that started when catcher Doug Mirabelli and first baseman Kevin Youkilis caught Troy Glaus napping at first with Frank Thomas at the plate on a strike-'em-out, pick-'em-off double play that turned a bases-loaded threat into the last time the Jays were heard from the rest of the night in the Red Sox' 8-0 victory.

Home runs in all three games in Toronto by third baseman Mike Lowell, including a three-run shot last night in a shocking six-run, third-inning uprising against Toronto ace Roy Halladay, who could not keep the Jays from losing their ninth straight game. Lowell has five home runs and is batting .407 against the Jays this season, and is batting .376 overall against Toronto, the highest average of any Jays opponent with 100 at-bats or more.

Six straight hits by Youkilis, three on either side of a bruise-inducing pitch he took off the left leg Tuesday night. Youkilis delivered the first of six straight two-out hits against Halladay in a rally that began with a bloop hit by Alex Cora, who can now say the Sox have won all 10 games in which he has started. A hustling Cora eluded a tag by second baseman Aaron Hill on Julio Lugo's roller, then he scored on David Ortiz's double, and the rally was in full bloom.

Terrific outings by every member of the Sox rotation, including a back-on-track Daisuke Matsuzaka, who won the middle game here with the same kind of support (9-3) enjoyed by unbeaten Josh Beckett (a 9-2 winner) in the first game of this set and Wakefield last night. The Sox outscored the Blue Jays, 26-5, in the sweep.

Four Sox starters had wins on this trip, and Julian Tavarez, a 2-1 loser to the Twins' Johan Santana, was outstanding in defeat. Sox pitchers had a 1.70 ERA (10 ER in 53 IP) on the trip. The hitters batted .293 with 10 home runs. Eighteen of Boston's 26 runs in this series came with two outs.

Rookie second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who didn't play last night, sprang to life on this trip, hitting .643 (9 for 14); Manny Ramirez, who had two hits last night, is rolling along on a nine-game hitting streak (15 for 39, .385); and even slump-ridden J.D. Drew (4 for 43 coming in) had a couple of singles last night.

The Sox have won six of their first seven series on the road and are 14-6 away from Fenway Park. Last season, the Sox were five games under .500 (38-43) on the road, and just a game over .500 (41-40) in 2005, when they won the wild card. In 2004, when they won it all, they were 43-38 on the road.

 Hideki Okajima relieved Wakefield and fanned two in the eighth, and J.C. Romero finished them off. Closer Jonathan Papelbon never got out of the bullpen in the three games here.

David Ortiz did not talk to print reporters for publication, though he privately expressed anger and disappointment about published reports linking him to the ongoing debate over performance-enhancing substances.

 

at Rogers Centre (Toronto) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

1

0

6

1

0

0

0

0

0

 

8

13

0

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

0

5

1

W-Tim Wakefield (4-3)
L-Roy Halladay (4-2)
Attendance – 22,290

2B-Youkilis (2)(Bost), Ortiz (Bost), Crisp (Bost), Cora (Bost)
HR-Lowell (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Julio Lugo ss 5 1 1 .227  

 

Dustin Pedroia 2b 0 0 0 .267  

 

Kevin Youkilis 1b 5 2 3 .319  

 

David Ortiz dh 4 1 1 .310  

 

Eric Hinske 1b 1 0 0 .200  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 4 1 2 .250  

 

Wily Mo Pena pr/lf 0 0 0 .270  

 

J.D. Drew rf 4 1 2 .257  

 

Mike Lowell 3b 4 1 1 .303  

 

Coco Crisp cf 4 0 1 .228  

 

Doug Mirabelli c 4 0 0 .280  

 

Alex Cora 2b/ss 4 1 2 .415  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Tim Wakefield 7 3 0 1 5  
  Hideki Okajima 1 0 0 0 2  
  J.C. Romero 1 2 0 0 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2007 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 23 10 -

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 17 18 7

 

 

New York Yankees 16 17 7

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays 14 20 9 1/2

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 13 21 10 1/2