Wakefield comfortable, shining in starting role

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Wakefield comfortable, shining in starting role

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON - Tim Wakefield felt right at home on Sunday afternoon, and it wasnt just because he was pitching at Fenway Park.

Wakefield made his eighth start of the season and, after alternating from the starting rotation and bullpen last year, he is finding success with consistency.

Ive got a more consistent job right now," he said following the Red Sox' 12-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. I think last year was a lot of inconsistencies on what I was doing - bullpen, start, bullpen, start, back to bullpen. Its nice to have a routine and get some repetition on working on stuff on the side versus hoping its there when the game starts out of the bullpen. Its been a pleasure so far.

Wakefield went eight innings (his longest outing since July 2, 2010) and recorded six strikeouts while giving up three hits and three earned runs (two home runs). Of his 99 pitches, 75 were strikes.

He threw a lot of strikes. I mean, a lot of strikes," said Terry Francona. He gave up one walk, he just filled up the strike zone and the ball was moving. Today was a good day to hit, if you elevate that knuckleball, any pitch its going to go. He just threw a ton of strikes with a good knuckleball.

After the game the Brewers admitted they were stifled by Wakefields delivery.

The hard part is when he throws you a good one, nobody is going to hit it," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. Thats the hard part. Theres times where weve come in where he hasnt had a good knuckleball and its completely different. But when hes like he is today, youre fortunate to get runs off him.

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia wasnt surprised. He believes Wakefield is better suited to be a starter and had a feeling before the game he would be effective.

He was excellent, he said. That's probably the best stuff I've seen from him all year that I've caught him. Even in the bullpen I was having trouble just because the ball was moving everywhere. He was really just kind of throwing it for strikes, too, getting ahead. But obviously it's a tough pitch to hit as it is anyways.

Wakefield credited his teammates for giving him the run support to help him settle in on the mound. His manager gave him credit for giving the team a solid start when called upon.

I think his role is exactly what hes doing," said Francona. We talked about it going in that theres probably going to be starts for him. We dont know where theyre going to be. Because of his versatility, hes filled that role. Hes filled it unbelievably. Youre fortunate on a staff where you have a guy like that and going into the season he knew what is his role was and, in all honesty, you dont know when the starts are going to be. But he prepared real well and hes really helping us out.

Wakefield may not always know when his next start will come, but his teammates know they can feel confident with him on the mound.

Said David Ortiz, Hes got a gift and the longer he can make that ball move like that, hes going to be successful.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCamerato

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

CHICAGO -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox:

 

QUOTES

"I think the most encouraging thing was after a couple of hard-hit balls early on, he was still in attack mode.'' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz.

"The biggest thing centers around his fastball. First inning, he might have been up a little bit. But after that, he was down in the zone and the curveball was a good compliment to that.'' - Farrell.

"Man, I tell you what -- he does it in such big moments.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz.

"If you could paint a picture, I think tonight would be just about what everybody would want to do.'' - Buchholz on his outing.

"I think everybody would be lying if they said they didn't see your numbers; you see them every day. (Being) 0-3 with a six-something (ERA) is obviously not where you want to be.'' - Buchholz.

"Hopefully, this is the start of something good coming out of him.'' - Ortiz on Buchholz.

"You feel like the luckiest man on planet earth - finally hitting the ball where no one's at!'' - Ortiz on beating the shift with a single through the shortstop hole in the seventh

 

NOTES

* When the Red Sox homer, they're 11-6.

* Clay Buchholz's win was his first since last July 10.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

* Mookie Betts has scored at least one run in 10 of his last 14 games.

* David Ortiz is now one homer from tying Carl Yastrzemski for second-most homers in franchise history at 452.

* Ortiz tied Gary Sheffield for 25th place all-time in homers with 509.

 

STARS

1) Clay Buchholz

After five straight poor outings, Buchholz turned in a gem, giving up two runs in the first, then nothing else for the next six innings.

2) David Ortiz

As he so often does, Ortiz delivered when the Red Sox needed him most, clocking a two-run homer in the fifth to turn a one-run deficit into a two-run lead.

3) Jose Abreu

The White Sox slugger belted a two-run homer in the first to give him five RBI in the two games in this series.