Tim Wakefield pitched six innings and a three-spot in the third gave Boston a Sunday afternoon win and a three-game sweep of the Devil Rays. Edgar Renteria opened the inning with a home run to center (just to the right of the triangle) and Jay Payton singled home David Ortiz and Kevin Millar a bit later.
Wakefield departed after 100 pitches and Matt Mantei, Alan Embree and Keith Foulke finished up, allowing only one base runner in the final three innings (an HBP by Mantei). Wakefield struck out five batters, upping his Red Sox career total to 1,343. He passed Cy Young on the all-time Sox list and now trails only Roger Clemens (2,590) and Pedro Martinez (1,683).
Wakefield also kept Boston's streak of not allowing its opponents a first-inning run intact. Carl Crawford began the game with a double. Julio Lugo was safe on a bunt single and stole second, giving Tampa runners on second and third and no outs. Wakefield struck out Alex Sanchez, got Aubrey Huff to line out to first and struck out Josh Phelps.
In the second inning, Tampa took a brief 1-0 lead when Travis Lee doubled and scored on Crawford's two-out single. That was the Devil Rays' last hit of the day, however.
Baltimore beat the Yankees 8-4 and Texas beat Toronto 6-5, so the Orioles are now in first place, one game ahead of Boston. New York and Tampa Bay are both four games out. ... Yes, checking standings after two weeks is silly, and as Yankee fans will (now) be quick to tell you, championships are not won in April!
Early game against the Blue Jays tomorrow: 11:00 am (Schilling vs. Dave Bush).