Bullpen blows Wakefield's 200th, Sox lose 11-10

Bullpen blows Wakefield's 200th, Sox lose 11-10

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

TORONTO -- Tim Wakefield has to be wondering if he'll ever get to 200 career victories -- and who can blame him?

Wakefield pitched five innings last night and held a three-run lead when he departed after 95 pitches, but the Boston bullpen imploded, allowing a run in the seventh and five more in the eighth, handing the Toronto Blue Jays an 11-10 win.

Daniel Bard was the main culprit. He filled the bases on a hit batsman, single and walk with no out before recording two stirkeouts. But Bard then issued back-to-back bases loaded walks and Matt Albers' second-half struggles continued when he came in and yielded a three-run double to Edwin Encarnacion.

Adrian Gonzalez led off the top of the ninth with a solo homer and Marco Scutaro singled home David Ortiz to pull the Sox to within a run, but but pinch-runner Mike Aviles was thrown out trying to steal second for the final out and the Sox fell a run short..

It was Wakefield's seventh straight unsuccessful try at becoming the 89th pitcher in modern history to reach 200 victories. His last win came July 24. He's 0-3 with four no-decisions.

Trailing 5-3 in the fourth, the Red Sox offense exploded for four runs with a run-scoring double from Josh Reddick and a three-run homer from Jacoby Ellsbury, his 25th homer of the year.

Ellsbury had a four hit night -- the homer, a double and two singles.

The Sox added another in the fifth on a mammoth homer from David Ortiz which landed in the second deck in right. Wakefield got staked to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but he had squandered that by the bottom of the second as the Jays nicked him for a run in the first and two more the following inning.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.