AP AND REUTERS, ATLANTA, GEORGIA
Tim Wakefield tied a franchise record for most games started and threw six shutout innings to lead the Boston Red Sox past the Atlanta Braves 1-0 on Saturday.
Wakefield allowed just three hits, striking out one and walking one, in his 382nd start for the Red Sox, which equaled Roger Clemens for most career starts in a Boston uniform.
“Just to be mentioned with the names that I’m mentioned with is pretty cool,” Wakefield told reporters. “It’s a testament to not only longevity and perseverance, but also the organization for keeping me around and giving me a chance to still pitch in a Red Sox uniform.”
The 42-year-old Wakefield (10-3) shows little sign of slowing down. He became the American League’s (AL) third 10-game winner, allowing just three singles against the struggling Braves.
“It feels really good to have 10 wins before the All-Star break,” Wakefield said.
Boston manager Terry Francona had nothing but praise for the veteran pitcher.
“He continues to pitch his rear end off,” Francona said. “He just keeps going out there and doing what he’s supposed to do. It’s fun to watch. I’m proud of him.”
Mark Kotsay drove in the lone run of the game with a sixth inning single off loser Javier Vazquez (5-7), who allowed just one run on six hits over 7-2/3 innings with eight strikeouts.
“We’ve got to keep our heads up and keep battling,” Vazquez said. “The guys are going to come out of this.”
The Braves have now lost four straight games to slip to a season-worst six games under the .500 mark at 34-40.
Boston (46-28) has the best record in the AL and second best mark in the majors and have held the Braves to just one run in the first two games of this series.
Manny Delcarmen got four outs and Justin Masterson two outs before Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 131st career save, leaving him just one behind Bob Stanley for the team record.
PHILLIES 10, BLUE JAYS 0
At Toronto, J.A. Happ pitched a five-hit shutout, Jayson Werth homered twice and Philadelphia whitewashed Toronto.
In the first complete game of his career, Happ (5-0) won for the first time in four starts, helping the Phillies snap a three-game losing streak.
Werth’s two-run drive into the Bell Center upper deck was the first there in five years.
CARDINALS 5, TWINS 3
At St Louis, Albert Pujols hit a pair of two-run homers, helping St Louis pound Minnesota’s 10-game winner Kevin Slowey.
Pujols leads the majors with 28 homers and 74 RBIs after his 29th career multi-homer game, and sixth this season. Both homers came off Slowey (10-3). Pujols’ second long ball put the Cardinals ahead 5-3 in the third and helped see off Slowey, who matched his shortest outing of the season.
ANGELS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1
At Phoenix, Mike Napoli hit a tiebreaking home run in the top of the ninth inning to lift Los Angeles over Arizona.
Napoli hit a one-out, 0-1 pitch from Chad Qualls (1-1) 130m to center field to give the Angels their fourth straight win and 11th in the last 14.
Los Angeles also improved their major league-best record in interleague play this season to 13-4. Arizona have lost four straight.
WHITE SOX 8, CUBS 7
At Chicago, Gordon Beckham singled in the winning run with two outs in the ninth and Scott Podsednik homered while tying a career high with four hits to lift the White Sox over the Cubs.