Athletics - 020 600 142 - 15 16 1 Red Sox - 100 210 001 - 5 11 1Wakefield lasted only four innings (4-8-8-2-3, 90), and while the Red Sox closed the gap to 8-4 with one out in the sixth (and had two men on), the rally fizzled and the team took a beating for the rest of the night. Darnell McDonald got the crowd jumping in the ninth when he came in from right field to pitch the final frame.
Oakland had two outs and a man on first in the fourth - and ended up scoring six times: Scott Sizemore homered (giving the A's a 4-1 lead), Jemile Weeks reached on a K-PB, Coco Crisp walked, Shemp doubled (6-1), and Josh Willingham homered (8-1).
Jason Mastrodonato, MLB.com:
Entering Friday, Wakefield's knuckleball had registered minus-10.7 runs saved this season according to FanGraphs.com, measuring his signature pitch as the worst offspeed pitch in baseball. ... [O]nly Steve Carlton [made] more starts between wins 199 and 200, securing his 200th win on the eighth try.Matt Albers allowed four runs - on three doubles, a single, and a walk - in the eighth. Albers has now allowed 13 runs in his last 4.2 innings. Since the beginning of August, his ERA has risen from 2.09 to 4.33.
Jacoby Ellsbury gave Boston a lead in the first when he doubled, stole third and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's single; Ellsbury also tripled and scored in the fifth. Right after Oakland had put the 6 on the board, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz began the home half of the fourth with back-to-back home runs, which was promising at the time. Ortiz (3-for-4) also singled and doubled.
McDonald walked the first two batters in the ninth, then got a fly out to left and a grounder to second. He had two strikes on Willingham, but gave up a wall-scraping two-run double.
The night was ugly, but the Red Sox were able to tread water with their one-game lead, as the Yankees lost to the Orioles 12-5. Baltimore scored six runs off A.J. Burnett (5-9-9-2-5, 116) in the second inning.
Gio Gonzalez / Tim Wakefield
Ellsbury, CFWakefield ain't gettin' any younger. Let's get #200 (and #186) tonight.
Boston is 24-15 (.615) since the ASB, which is the exact same pace they have played all year: 80-50 (.615).
Game thread here. [Yankees/Orioles at 7 PM.]