Tim Wakefield retires 12 consecutive Mariners to lead Sox to the 11-3 victory


Tim Wakefield retires 12 consecutive Mariners to lead Sox to the 11-3 victory

(June 7, 2008) – On a hazy, hot and humid June day in Boston, the Seattle Mariners had more to deal with than the 92 degree heat. They also had to deal with Tim Wakefield’s fluttering knuckleball that baffled Seattle batters for seven innings. Wakefield provided Red Sox fans with another excellent outing, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out six to pick up his fourth win of the season in the Sox’s 11-3 win. After the Mariners tied the score in the second, the 41-year-old veteran set down 13 of the next 15 Seattle batters, including retiring 12 in a row before catcher Kenji Johjima blooped a single in front of Coco Crisp in the seventh.

If J.D. Drew keeps hitting the way he is in the number three slot in the order, David Ortiz might have a hard time getting his spot back. Drew continued his red-hot hitting with a two-out rocket just past the outstretched glove of center fielder Ichiro Suzuki. As the ball rolled to the base of the wall, the Sox right fielder kicked it into another gear as he rounded second base and slide into third, safely with a triple. He knocked his seventh homerun just to the right of yellow line on the Green Monster off Seattle reliever, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the sixth. In his last eight games, no Red Sox starter has a higher batting average than Drew with a .542 average, three doubles, one triple, three homeruns and eight RBIs.

Manny Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 12 games by hitting his fourth homerun in three games with a monster shot over everything in left. His 14 round-tripper of the season scored Drew from third to give the Sox the early 2-0 lead and the RBI Man’s 46th and 47th RBIs of the season.

After Wakefield retired the side in order in, with a ground out to shortstop by Wladimir Balentien sandwiched between strike outs to Richie Sexson and Kenji Johjima, the Mariners came back to tie the game in the third. In the top of the inning, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt led off the inning with a base hit into left and was followed by a dribbler down the third baseline by Suzuki, for his second hit of the game. Third baseman Adrian Beltre would drive in Betancourt and Suzuki with a ground rule double down the first base line after Jose Lopez advanced the runners with a ground out to third. But the game was not tied for long, as the Red Sox re-took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth.

After Kevin Youkilis grounded out to shortstop to begin the Sox half of the fourth, rookie Brandon Moss walked and motored around from first on Alex Cora’s double to left center. Cora would also come around to score Boston’s fourth run of the game on Coco Crisp’s second hit of the game. Not only did Crisp reach bases twice in the game but he kept the Seattle defense on their toes, stealing his 9th and 10th bags of season.

Revenge is sweet, when you are on the giving end of it instead of the receiving end of it. Just as the Mariners blew out the Sox in Friday night’s 8-0 shut out, the Sox returned the favor today after batting around in the bottom of the eighth inning. Cora led of the inning with a base hit into right field. Julio Lugo would advance Cora to second with his only base of the game into right as well. Drew was a double shy of being the first Sox player since John Valentin after he drove in Cora and Lugo with another single to right. Ramirez received the hat trick of the game when he walked for the third time in the eighth inning to move Drew up to second and then was pinch ran for by Jacoby Ellsbury. Coming in as a defensive replacement in top of the inning, Mike Lowell lined a double down the third base line to drive in Drew and send Ellsbury to third. After Lowell’s base hit the game was over for reliever Mark Lowe but his line score was not. Not having an RBI all game, Youkilis did not want to feel left out and lined an RBI double to left to plate Ellsbury and Lowell against Ryan Rowland-Smith, who relieved Lowe. In just a third of an inning, Lowe allowed all five runs on four hits and one walk.

There has been a last minute change of starting pitchers for Seattle in tomorrow afternoon’s series finale against the Red Sox. Instead of right hander Jarrod Washburn getting the start against the 23-year-old Justin Masterson, the Mariners will opt for the left handed Erik Bedard. After an outstanding seven inning performance of two hit ball with eight strikes against Wakefield and the Sox on May, 28, Bedard failed to get out of the fourth inning in his next start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In just 3.1 innings of work versus the Halos, the left hander allowed five runs – four earned – on seven hits while walking three and striking out one.

Making his 12 career start against Boston, Bedard will be opposed by Masterson, who is making the first start of his career against the Mariners. The former Aztec is 2-0 in his three starts this season with a 2.95 ERA, 14 strike outs, 9 walks, a 1.09 WHIP and a .175 opponent’s batting average. Masterson is coming off a 7-4 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 3 where he went six innings allowing four runs on six hits while striking out five and walking two. Since being recalled for the third time this season on June 3, it marks the first time Masterson has stayed in the big leagues for more than a cup of coffee.

WIN: Tim Wakefield (4-4)

LOSS: Miguel Batista (3-7)


Game Notes:

Going 0-for-12 on this current home stand, Dustin Pedroia got the day game after the night game off. Today will provide for a good mental health day for the sophomore second baseman.

Jonathan Papelbon came on to pitch the ninth inning to get some work in since he had not pitched since June 3.

Kevin Youkilis 233 consecutive games without an error has come to end when he dropped an easy throw from Alex Cora at second in the top of the ninth on a ground ball by pinch hitter Willie Bloomquist.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Tim Wakefield, BOSTON ---- 7IP, 4H, 2R, 2BB, 6K
  1. J.D. Drew, BOSTON ---- 3-5 3B, HR, RBI, 2 Runs-scored
  1. Manny Ramirez, BOSTON ---- 1-2 HR, 3 BB, 2 RBIs, 2 Runs-scored

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