for this game

Wakefield strong as Red Sox hold on vs. Rangers

Jun 30, 2007 - 3:59 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- After a tough road trip, Tim Wakefield and the Boston Red Sox were glad to see the worst team in the American League.

Wakefield had his knuckleball working through 6 2/3 solid innings as the Red Sox bounced back and eked out a 2-1 victory over the lowly Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on Friday night.

Boston manager Terry Francona was ecstatic with his performance.

"He was great, he got us to a point in the game where we could match up," Francona said. "He was terrific but he had to be because we scored just two runs."

It was a big win for Boston, which went 4-5 on its recent nine-game West Coast road swing. The trip had been going well until the Red Sox were swept by the Seattle Mariners in three games to end the jaunt.

"You could definitely feel the electricity here tonight and getting a win after getting swept in Seattle is huge for us," Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield said. "Hopefully, we can carry the momentum through this series and into the next one."

However, they faced the last-place Rangers (32-47), who suffered just their third loss in in their last nine game despite owning the AL's worst mark.

Boston got back on track thanks to Wakefield (8-8), who worked his way into the seventh, allowing one run and seven hits, while striking out and walking four. But he needed a solid performance from his bullpen to pick up the win.

"It was one of those nights that I didn't have my best stuff but I felt like I made the pitches when I needed to make them and I was very fortunate," Wakefield said.

Trailing, 2-1, the Rangers mounted a two-out rally in the seventh inning. Kenny Lofton reached on an infield single off Wakefield and then stole second. Jerry Hairston walked, knocking Wakefield out in favor of reliever Manny Delcarmen.

Delcarmen immediately walked Michael Young, loading the bases for slugger Sammy Sosa, who then struck out to end the threat.

"I was like, 'This is the toughest position for a pitcher to be in, 2-1 game and trying to save Wakefield's win,'" Delcarmen said. "I fall behind 2-0, and Mike Lowell comes by and was like just trust yourself, they are not going to hit your fastball, so I was just happy to get out of that inning."

"We had some opportunities but they has a bunch of opportunities that they didn't cash in on either," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We had the right people up there and we had to try to get it done with two outs, not that easy."

Boston then turned to its lights-out, late-inning combination as deceptive lefthander Hideki Okajima hurled a clean eighth, and closer Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth for his 19th save.

The star closer labored but struck out Young with the go-ahead runs on base in a tense ninth inning in which he was restrained from arguing with first base umpire Mike Reilly on a close play involving Lofton.

"That's just the situation where I'm not thinking, and I've got nothing but 100 percent adrenaline running through me, and it's part of the game," Papelbon said. "It was obviously a close play but I'm just happy with the outcome."

The Red Sox started the scoring in the fourth after Manny Ramirez got hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. J.D. Drew then blasted a ground-rule double to left field, sending Ramirez to third.

The Red Sox started the scoring in the fourth after Manny Ramirez got hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. J.D. Drew then blasted a ground-rule double to left field, sending Ramirez to third.

But Mike Lowell could not get the run home, grounding out to third. Wily Mo Pena followed with an infield single, scoring Ramirez with the first run of the game.

Texas answered one inning later thanks to Adam Melhuse, who led off the inning with a booming double to right field. He was sacrificed to third by Ramon Vazquez, and Lofton walked, stole second - his second of three in the game - to set up Hairston's sacrifice fly to tie the game, 1-1.

Boston took the lead on a strange play in the bottom of the frame.

Dustin Pedroia was issued a one-out walk and was forced out at second on a fielder's choice ground ball by Kevin Youkilis. David Ortiz also walked, and both runners then moved up on a wild pitch Rangers starter Jamey Wright (1-2).

Ramirez ripped a grounder off Wright, which bounded directly to third. But Texas third baseman Vazquez decided to tag out Ortiz running between second and third instead of throwing across the diamond to first - a force play - allowing the go-ahead run to score.

"Just a weird play all together. It hits off his foot, so you knew you had to go because Manny was going to be close at first, and I turn around and they tagged David out," Youkilis said. "There is no reason to jog on that play because you never know what is going to happen."

"Tough play on that unless you got a view of the guy that hit it, and you know you can get him at first base, so I have to accept Vazquez's judgment," Washington said.

Wright tossed five frames, yielding two runs and six hits, while striking out and walking three for the Rangers, who left 16 runners on base.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
    BOSTON 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 x 2 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - JAMEY WRIGHT, JOAQUIN BENOIT (6TH), C.J. WILSON (7TH), FRANK
    FRANCISCO (8TH) AND ADAM MELHUSE
    BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD, MANNY DELCARMEN (7TH), HIDEKI
    OKAJIMA (8TH

    Jun 29 10:18 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 29 9:59 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY MANNY RAMIREZ SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    BOSTON 2 END BOTTOM, 5TH

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 29 8:46 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JERRY HAIRSTON JR SCORED ADAM MELHUSE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K LOFTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.297, 1-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 29 8:26 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WILY MO PENA SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W PENA ON FIRST, J DREW ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: A CORA (.280, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 29 8:17 PM