Game Story: Wakefield's quest denied in 3-1 loss

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Game Story: Wakefield's quest denied in 3-1 loss

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
CHICAGO -- There's something about going for personal milestones at U.S. Cellular Field which doesn't bode well for Red Sox pitchers.

The last time the Red Sox were here, in September, Jon Lester was shelled in his attempt to win his 20th game of 2010. Friday night, Tim Wakefield was tripped up on his way to try for career win No. 200.

Wakefield allowed just one hit through the first five innings, but was nicked for a run in the sixth then yielded a two-run homer to A.J. Pierzynski in the seventh, resulting in a 3-1 setback to the Chicago White Sox.

The veteran knuckleballer got little offensive support from his teammates who managed just three hits off start Gavin Floyd and two Chicago relievers.

The lone Red Sox run came on a solo homer from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who hit his ninth home run -- and third in his last seven starts.

The only other hits for the Red Sox were a single from Drew Sutton in the second and an infield single by Marco Scutaro in the sixth.

Dustin Pedroia was hitless in four at-bats and saw his 25-game hitting streak snapped.

The loss was the third in the last five games for the Sox. In those three games, they have scored a total of five runs.

STAR OF THE GAME: A.J. Pierzynski
Pierzynski hammered a knuckleball for a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, snapping a 1-1 tie and providing the winning margin for the White Sox in a 3-1 victory.

That was the fifth homer allowed by Tim Wakefield in his last three starts.

HONORABLE MENTION: Gavin Floyd
Floyd went seven innings and allowed just a run on three hits. The victory improved Floyd to 6-0 lifetime against the Sox, the best start to a career for a pitcher against the Sox since Gustavo Chacin did it from 2005-2007.

In five of his seven innings, Floyd retired the Red Sox in order.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Tim Wakefield
Wakefield pitched well, and ordinarily, allowing three runs in seven innings means a victory for a Red Sox pitcher. But it was Wakefield's misfortune to make a mistake to Pierzynski on a night in which his teammates couldn't get anything done offensively.

TURNING POINT:
The Sox were leading 1-0 in the top of the sixth when they loaded the bases on an infield single, a fielder's choice and a walk.

But Kevin Youkilis left all three teammates stranded when he took a called third strike and the Sox didn't get another baserunner the rest of the way.
BY THE NUMBERS:
The White Sox are 11-1 in their last 12 meetings with the Red Sox.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
"We're done. The Red Sox are done.'' Jarrod Saltalamacchia, after being told that the Sox had just lost back-to-back games for the first time in July.

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

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park.