BOSTON Making his third start since joining the rotation after John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka both went on the disabled list, Tim Wakefield finally hit a speed bump. On Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park, that speed bump was the White Sox, who trumped the Red Sox, 7-4, sweeping a three-game set.
Wakefield, who was not involved in the decision, went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. In his previous two starts, he pitched a combined 13 23 innings, giving up three runs, for a 1.98 ERA, on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He threw 98 pitches, 67 strikes.
I think I pitched better than the results showed, Wakefield said. Obviously, one ball that got hit hard was the one by Lillibridge. Other than that, I made some pitches when I needed to. Got behind in the count, got back even in the count. Big strikeout on Dunn there to get an out in that one inning the second out in the fourth. Other than that, I felt great. Got to 90 pitches, got us through the sixth. Unfortunately, we lost.
Chicago's Brent Lillibridge hit a home run in the sixth inning and also had an RBI double after the Dunn strikeout in the fourth.
Wake was pretty good, manager Terry Francona said. The ball was dancing. He elevated a couple and paid for it. Lillibridge twice always here at home the right-hand hitter, if he elevates it, hes got a chance to get hurt. But he pitched very well.
If not for the fifth inning when the White Sox scored two runs after what the Red Sox thought was a missed call by second base umpire Marty Foster on a tag play Wakefield thought his team might have had the win.
Its huge, Wakefield said. It cost us two runs. Pretty much probably cost us the game.
With Lackey set to come off the DL on Sunday, it is likely Alfredo Aceves, who has also been filling in with spot starts, will return to the bullpen while Wakefield stays in the rotation. Knowing when his turn is coming up helps, Wakefield said.
Its a little easier to get in a routine yeah, absolutely, he said. I feel great physically and been throwing the ball well and hopefully I can continue to do so.
The Sox had not lost four straight games since starting the season 0-6. They were swept at home for the second time this season. The first was a two-game set with Tampa Bay on April 11 and 12.
The Red Sox were swept in their home series with the White Sox for the second straight season and have lost seven straight to Chicago at Fenway going back to Aug. 27, 2009. That ties their longest losing streak ever to the White Sox in Boston, going back to July 12, 1958-May 14, 1959.
David Ortiz has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, going 22-for-55 (.400) with 13 extra-base hits (seven doubles, six home runs). He has hit a home run in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season and has four home runs in his last eight games.
With two RBI, Jarrod Saltalamacchia has nine RBI in his last 10 games. Over the Sox last 18 games, catchers have combined for 15 RBI.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen.