Wakefield still stuck on No. 199

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Wakefield still stuck on No. 199

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
BOSTON -- The pursuit isnt over. Tim Wakefield is still looking forhis 200th career win after Wednesday night.

The Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians in walk-offfashion at Fenway Park, but Wakefield left the game still stuck on 199victories.

After six innings of three-hit ball and a 3-2 lead enteringthe top of the seventh, things looked up for the veteran knuckleballer. ButWakefield led that seventh inning off by allowing a Lonnie Chisenhall double,putting the tying run in scoring position.

Wakefield retired the next two batters at the bottom ofClevelands order, but then allowed a game-tying ground-rule double to Indianslead-off hitter Ezequiel Carrera.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona surprised Wakefield bystrolling out to the mound to take him out of the game. Francona surprisedWakefield so much, that Wakefield had to see it with his own eyes, and turnedto the bullpen to make sure someone was definitely coming in to relieve him,after throwing just 99 pitches and needing only one more out to get out of theinning and hoping his offense could produce some runs to get him that 200thwin.

When asked after the game how disappointed he was to not getwin No. 200 on Wednesday night, Wakefield simply said, I made one bad pitch toCabrera, and that was it.

Wakefield later said, I was hoping I would stay in for onemore hitter, but I dont make the decisions here.

Lefty Randy Williams came in and walked left-hander JasonKipnis, but then struck out Asdrubal Cabrera to get out of the inning.

Still, at that point, even if the Red Sox offense exploded,Wakefield wouldnt have factored into the decision.

He pitched terrific, said Francona. Its hard. I knowwhats riding on the game and for him personally, but you kind of have to dowhat you think is right to win the game. Everybodys pulling for him to get thewin, including myself, and he really pitched well.

He hadnt given up a lot of hits and he was getting outs. Ifwe go to Ezequiel Carrera, theyre probably going to hit Matt LaPorta, so Ithought Wake deserved a chance to pitch. Once they tied it, all of a suddentheyve got a lefty Jason Kipnis theyre not going to hit for, so we go tothe bullpen.

Wakefield finished the game having allowed three runs onfive hits, two walks, and a home run, while striking out six in 6.2 innings.

While he was surprised to not get another shot at the finalout in the seventh, Wakefield did acknowledge that he was happy with the teamgetting the win, even if it meant he had to wait until his next start foranother crack at win No. 200.

Ya, I was satisfied, said Wakefield. I had good stuffagain tonight, and I was able to limit them to just one big inning when theyscored the two runs. Other than that, I kept us in the game into the seventhinning. We won. Thats the biggest thing. We won.

It is what it is, added Wakefield on not getting his 200thwin on Wednesday. I think the most important thing is to go out there and getquality innings for us to get into the postseason.

Obviously, we want him to get that 200th win, said Red Soxcatcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Thats a big milestone in a career. We had agood chance tonight. We were up by one, They got a good hit and scored a run .. . The wins the important thing, and Im sure if you ask him hell tell youthe same thing. Its an important milestone and were looking forward to himgetting it.@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1;

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

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Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.

Benintendi's MRI inconclusive; will under more tests Friday in Boston

Benintendi's MRI inconclusive; will under more tests Friday in Boston

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Andrew Benintendi saga will continue for at least one more day, as an MRI taken here Thursday morning was, in the words of John Farrell, "inconclusive" and the rookie left fielder will undergo more tests Friday in Boston.

"Our doctors want to get him back to a full exam with (team orthopedist) Dr. [Peter] Asnis," Farrell said after the 2-1 loss to the Rays, which concluded the team's 11-game road trip. "Hopefully, when I speak to you all [Friday] afternoon (at Fenway Park, prior to the team's game against Royals), there will be a little more information on this."

Farrell said Friday's tests "will include some other imaging".

The Sox placed Benintendi on the 15-day disabled list after he injured his left night while running the bases Wednesday night. 

"We're going to do some more tests tomorrow and take it day-by-day," he said. "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully the tests come back clean.''
 
Benintendi found one sliver of hope:
 
"The more I walk on it, the better it feels. I'm going to stay as positive as I can.'' 

First impressions of Red Sox’ 2-1 loss to Rays

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First impressions of Red Sox’ 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First Impressions from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field:

 

* When the guy who was 0-for-34 produces the go-ahead RBI, it's probably not your day.

The Red Sox and Rays were tied 1-1 in the seventh when Steven Souza Jr. singled to lead off the inning. That brought Mikie Mahtook, hitless in his last 34 at-bats to the plate.

Naturally, Mahtook roped a line-drive double to left field, scoring Souza all the way from first base. It was that kind of day for the Red Sox, who were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and stranded five baserunners.

For a team that still leads the majors in runs scored, the Red Sox have shown an uncanny ability to go cold at the plate.

On Thursday afternoon, that happened again, while the most unlikely hero for Tampa Bay came through in an improbable spot.

 

* The Red Sox' struggles with the bases loaded is almost comical.

It happened again.

In the sixth inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases with no out. Mookie Betts then hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring one run. Hanley Ramirez then walked, re-loading the bases, this time with one out.

But Jackie Bradley Jr. then swung at the first pitch and hit into an inning-ending, rally-killing 4-6-3 double play.

In two plate appearances with the bases loaded, the Sox failed to get a hit.

The Sox are hitting .216 with the bases loaded (24-for-111), ranking them 14th in the American League. Only Seattle and Detroit have had more bases-loaded opportunities, and yet the Red Sox rank in the second half in runs scored in such situations.

 

* Drew Pomeranz is showing no signs of innings fatigue

True, Pomeranz failed to provide a shutdown inning in the sixth after the Red Sox had gotten him a run in the top of the inning.

Still, Pomeranz pitched into the seventh and allowed just two runs while striking out a season-high 11 batters.

In his past five starts, he's compiled a 2.37 ERA, and both the power to his fastball and the sharpness to his curve offer no evidence that he's hit any sort of wall despite already establishing a career high at the major league level with five weeks remaining in the season.