Wakefield, Ortiz lead Red Sox over TwinsMay 5, 2007 - 4:05 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- This time, David Ortiz's aim was a little better.
The Boston Red Sox designated hitter blasted a solo home run into the right-center field seats in the sixth inning, giving Tim Wakefield all the support he needed to take down the Minnesota Twins, 2-0, on Friday night.
Ortiz tried the same thing the last time Wakefield started at the Metrodome, but his towering fly ball hit a speaker hanging from the Metrodome ceiling and landed for a harmless single in an eventual 5-3 loss. But Friday's blast from the former Twin was not quite as high and landed safely in the seats closer to the right field line.
"I was just happy not to hit the speaker again," Ortiz said. "(Last year's) was the longest single ever."
"I think (tonight's homer) would have gone through a speaker," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
Ortiz's eighth homer of the season came off of Carlos Silva, the same Twins starter who earned the win while Wakefield was saddled with the loss on June 16, 2006 when Ortiz hit the seemingly unreachable speaker in the outfield. It was only the second hit of the game for Boston, but all that an ailing Wakefield would need.
Wakefield (3-3) yielded just three hits and walked three. Often an afterthought in a rotation that includes Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka, Wakefield has been the most consistent of all the starters.
Friday's scoreless outing lowered the 40-year-old's ERA to a team-leading 2.11 - and he did it while struggling to breathe.
"I've been battling a cold the last couple days, but the training staff did a good job getting me healthy," Wakefield said. "I'm having a hard time breathing, so Terry asked me after seven (innings) how I felt, and I felt I could have gone out again, but why break myself down for my next start?"
Lack of support has been an issue for the veteran knuckleballer for the past year. In his last 14 losses - dating to the start of 2006 - Boston has scored a total of nine runs while Wakefield has been in the game, including no runs eight times and one run four times.
But after taking intravenous fluids 48 hours before the game and being sent home early two nights prior during Boston's game against the Oakland A's, Wakefield had the assistance of the Metrodome - a venue in which he now holds a 7-3 record in 11 career starts.
"I don't know what it is about pitching in a dome, but there's a little more movement on the ball," Wakefield said. "I can't explain it."
"His knuckleball was floating all over the place," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We just couldn't find a way to score tonight."
After J.C. Romero and Brendan Donnelly combined to pitch a scoreless eighth, closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
Papelbon recovered from his last outing on Tuesday when he blew his first save of the season against Oakland. After 2006, American League MVP Justin Morneau drove Papelbon's fastball to the center field wall, the young closer settled down to get Mike Redmond on a lazy fly to right field before retiring Jason Kubel on a grounder to short.
Ortiz's blast in the sixth was the lone blemish for Silva (2-2), who scattered five hits over seven innings, striking out one.
"We tried go in hard on him, and he pulled his hands in pretty good and got the big part of the bat on it," Gardenhire said. "He's a big, strong guy. Carlos didn't give in - he threw a hard tailing fastball over the plate."
And this time, Ortiz got the ball further to the right side than the Kirby Puckett banner hanging in the upper deck - which his speaker-ball was headed towards before falling into the outfield last year.
"It looks like Kirby is calling to me every time I come here," Ortiz said.
Francona credited Ortiz's previous at-bat, which resulted in a long fly ball to left field, for Ortiz's home run effort.
"His approach where he drove the ball to left earned him a pitch he could do something with," Francona said. "He was starting to cover the ball away and they tried to do something different. It actually looked like a pretty good pitch. He just stayed inside and drove it like he can."
Boston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth when J.D. Drew led off the inning with a triple and came home on Coco Crisp's single.
Torii Hunter singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 19 games for the Twins, who swept the Red Sox in three games at the Metrodome in 2006.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 8 0
MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD, J.C. ROMERO (8TH), BRENDAN DONNELLY (8TH),
JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND DOUG MIRABELLI
MIN - CARLOS SILVA, PAT NESHEK (8TH), JUAN RINCON (9TH)
May 4 10:44 PM
AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY COCO CRISP SCORED J.D. DREW.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRISP ON FIRST, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 9TH
DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D MIRABELLI (.350, 1-FOR-3)
Red Sox vs. TwinsMay 4 10:24 PM
AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY DAVID ORTIZ (8) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
6TH OFF CARLOS SILVA.
CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, MINNESOTA 0
DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.231, 0-FOR-2)
Red Sox vs. TwinsMay 4 9:29 PM
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