Notes: Wakefield hits a snag vs. White Sox

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Notes: Wakefield hits a snag vs. White Sox

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

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.

First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

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First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Boston’s bullpen continues to be a roll of the dice every night.

This time Matt Barnes was the latest reliever to suffer from the plague that’s filled this bullpen all season.

Part of it was bad luck on two perfectly placed balls, the other part was Raul Mondesi lacing a triple, and Lorenzo Cain smacking a single.

Robbie Ross was better, but not by much.

No lead seems safe in the hands of any Boston reliever.

 

David Ortiz keeps putting himself in the same breath as legendary Hall of Famers.

This time it was former Red Sox great Jimmie Foxx, who Ortiz is now tied with at 534 home runs, 18th all time.

Early in the season he’d match a legendary player every so often, it was impressive. Now it’s almost to be expected every night he plays.

Next on the all-time home run list is Yankee Legend Mickey Mantle with 536.

 

The bottom of the order continues to play an important role in Boston’s run production.

Chris Young got things started in the fifth, then Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. kept it rolling so both Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts could cash in all three runners.

Moving JBJ back to ninth Saturday proved to be a good move, and moving Leon back down with his recent scuffles seems to be the best move, too.

Not only can they knock each other in any given instance, but they also put Dustin Pedroia (or Holt) and Bogaerts in run-producing situations, as opposed to just setting the table.

 

Chris Young’s hamstring shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

He was able to leg out the soft grounder to third base in the first inning.

Young has lost a step or two with age, but it seemed like he opened it up on the play.

Hopefully that’s a sign of the end of the injuries in left field this season.

 

Junichi Tazawa looked strong.

That’s more so an observation of his fastball reaching 94 mph.

Tazawa has a long way to go before he’s back to where he was, but the righty took a step in the right direction Sunday night. He retired Kansas City’s 2-3-4 hitters in his first inning and working past a leadoff single in his second inning of work.