Boston rallied briefly against Kennedy (7-7-2-2-6, 100) in the seventh -- Manny doubled and Youkilis tripled (Pena's grounder scored Yook) -- but that was it. Three more GIDP for the Red Sox -- in the 2nd, 4th and 5th innings -- made a total of 8 in a span of 12 innings.
Toronto lost, so we remain 9 GA of them, but the Orioles (10 GB), Yankees (10.5) and Devil Rays (11.5) all won and took one step closer to the kings of the hill.
Schilling in the afternoon game on Thursday.
Tim Wakefield (4.24, 106 ERA+) / Joe Kennedy (3.30, 130 ERA+)
Not since Sept. 4, 2004, had Wakefield been pounded for eight earned runs before his last start, on Friday night. But Wakefield's control deserted him against the Yankees, who touched him for five hits and six walks and scored eight times in 3.2 innings. Wakefield's ERA has ballooned from 1.79 to 4.24 in four starts since May 15.
Kennedy bounced back from a seven-run beating at the hands of the host Orioles to put together his strongest start of the season Friday night against the visiting Twins, holding Minnesota to a run on six hits over eight innings while throwing a season-high 110 pitches. As has often been the case this year, though, the A's offered little offensive support, so Kennedy, who has allowed one run in six of his 10 starts and has allowed more than three runs only once, was stuck with his fifth no-decision.
Catcher Jason Varitek and outfielder Manny Ramirez can't wait to grab a bat against Kennedy. Varitek is a .538 hitter against the A's left-hander, with a pair of doubles and a triple. Ramirez is 9-for-17 (.429) with five doubles and five RBIs against Kennedy.