Series: Game 3 of 3

Boston won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 6
Tampa Bay5Final
Game 2: Tuesday, September 7
Tampa Bay14Final
Game 3: Wednesday, September 8
Tampa Bay5Final

Rays 5

(84-55, 41-29 away)

Red Sox 11

(78-62, 42-30 home)

    7:10 PM ET, September 8, 2010

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 130100000 5 8 1
    BOS 02203130 - 11 17 1

    W: T. Wakefield (4-10)

    L: M. Garza (14-8)

    Tim Wakefield becomes oldest pitcher to win for Red Sox

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- To Tim Wakefield, winning never becomes old.

    So on a night when the 44-year-old knuckleballer became the oldest pitcher to win for the Boston Red Sox, he was already looking ahead.

    "It means a lot considering I've been here for 16 years," he said after Boston beat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-5 on Wednesday. "Anytime you can have some sort of milestone, it's very important to have it in a Red Sox uniform."

    Wakefield (4-10) surpassed Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, who was 43 when he got his last win for the Red Sox.

    Now he'd like to be the team's top all-time winner. This was his 179th career victory with Boston, 13 behind the club record of 192 shared by Roger Clemens and Cy Young.

    "Hopefully I get an opportunity to try and do that," Wakefield said. "I know how important that is to me."

    Marco Scutaro hit two homers and Adrian Beltre, David Ortiz and Victor Martinez also connected as warm temperatures on a late-summer night helped the ball carry out of Fenway Park. Four of the shots came off Matt Garza (14-8).

    "We were kind of sloppy in a lot of areas and kind of hit our way through it, which is tough to do against their guy," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

    The Rays dropped to 2½ games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees. Boston is nine behind New York.

    Wakefield, who found out Tuesday he'd be starting, allowed five runs on six hits and four walks in five innings. B.J. Upton hit a three-run homer for Tampa Bay.

    Tampa Bay opens a three-game series in Toronto on Friday before heading home to host the Yankees for three.

    Ahead 4-0 early, the Rays let Boston tie it through three innings. Jason Bartlett's RBI single in the fourth put Tampa Bay in front, but the Red Sox took the lead 7-5 and chased Garza with a three-run fifth.

    "You'd like to think with him pitching under those circumstances we'd have a chance to add on, but they came back real quickly," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

    Martinez tied it with a leadoff homer into the back of the Red Sox bullpen. Ryan Kalish greeted reliever Chad Qualls with a go-ahead double off the left-field wall, a ball Carl Crawford might've caught if he hadn't pulled up and played the carom. Kalish scored when third baseman Evan Longoria bounced a throw to first for an error.

    Garza gave up nine hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings. He came in 3-0 with a 0.99 ERA in his last four starts.

    "That felt like they were in there whaling on everything I threw. I really didn't have an answer," he said.

    Maddon thought it was the perfect setting for Garza.

    "Yeah, it did surprise me," he said. "He looked fine. He's been rested. He hasn't been overworked. A game like this is where he normally rises to the occasion."

    Martinez's RBI single off reliever Randy Choate made it 8-5 in the sixth. Scutaro's second homer, his career-high tying fourth hit, made it 11-5 against Grant Balfour in the seventh.

    Longoria's sacrifice fly had put the Rays ahead 1-0 in the first. They increased it to 4-0 in the second on Upton's homer, a drive that hit a billboard above the Green Monster.

    The Red Sox tied it by scoring two runs in both the second and third. Beltre homered into the Monster seats after Ortiz walked, cutting it to 4-2 in the second. The homer gave Beltre 1,001 career RBIs.

    Scutaro and Ortiz each hit solo shots into the left-field seats in the third.

    Boston's Lars Anderson got his first two major league hits, both singles, and drove in a run.

    Game notes

    This was Scutaro's first four-hit game with Boston. ... The Red Sox tied their season-high with five homers. ... Maddon said right-handed starter Jeff Niemann "had a great workout. There's nothing wrong. Once he gets his confidence back, he'll throw like he did the last year and a half." Niemann has given up 23 runs in 16 2/3 innings over three starts since coming off the DL from a strained shoulder on Aug. 25. ... Maddon also said that Balfour, on the DL for 32 games with a strained rib cage sustained horsing around with pitching coach Jim Hickey before being activated Sept. 1, "is not quite where he had been." ... Scutaro was back at shortstop after playing second on Tuesday because he has inflammation in the rotator cuff of his throwing shoulder, and the club wanted him to avoid longer throws. ... Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena snapped 0-for-25 drought with a fifth-inning single.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumFenway Park, Boston, MA
    Attendance37,757 (101.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:17
    Weather77 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind16 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Fieldin Culbreth, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Jim Wolf

    Research Notes

    Red Sox have hit 5 HR in a game for the 4th time this season. That ties the Blue Jays for the most such games in MLB this season. The last Red Sox team with at least 4 5-HR games in a season was the 2003 team that had 5 5-HR games. Since 1920, only 5 other Red Sox teams have had at least 4 5-HR games in a season: 1977 (8), 2003 (5), 1997 (5), 2002 (4), 1999 (4).
    Matt Garza allowed 5 runs and 4 HR in 4 2/3 IP. - he had allowed 5 runs in his previous 5 starts COMBINED - he had allowed 3 HR in his previous 8 starts COMBINED
    After a first-pitch curveball missed, David Ortiz saw eight straight fastballs from Matt Garza, fouling off four of them before finally connecting. It's only his fifth career homer on the ninth pitch or later (the last was September 21, 2006). Entering Wednesday Ortiz was averaging 4.39 pitches per plate appearance, third-most in the majors behind Brett Gardner (4.62) and Daric Barton (4.41)(minimum 100 PA). The MLB average is 3.83.
    Adrian Beltre's 2-run HR gave him 1,001 career RBI It also ended a streak of 4 straight starts in which Matt Garza allowed 1 run or fewer, 1 shy of the Rays record.

    ESPN Stats & Information