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Tim Wakefield took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Wednesday afternoon, but the 42-year-old knuckleballer was not able to make history. He did however earn the complete game victory when the Sox needed most in an 8-2 win. He would’ve been the second-oldest pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter next to Nolan Ryan, who was 44 when he threw his seventh no-no in 1991.
Wake had a no-hitter through seven innings, but had to wait more than 20 minutes before coming out to pitch in the bottom of the eighth. Why? Well, the Red Sox finally busted out of their shell with six runs to blow the game wide open. David Ortiz started it with his first extra base hit of the season (a two-out double). Kevin Youkilis then was intentionally walked, setting up J.D. Drew’s three-run home run to make it 5-0.
After three more runs scored, Wake couldn’t be expected to keep up the no-no, and he didn’t. He walked Mark Ellis to lead off the inning, and Travis Buck flied out to deep left on a terrific running catch by Jacoby Ellsbury. Kurt Suzuki followed with Oakland’s first hit on a hard-hit ground ball to left field, and the no-hitter was gone, but Wakefield’s gem was not.
Tim Wakefield, SP: Of course! He allowed just two runs on four hits in nine innings pitched to earn his first win of the year. The bullpen was pretty taxed after two straight poor performances by Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Dice-K really killed the team with just 1.0 IP Tuesday night.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B: Pedroia is a notorious slow starter, and that trend continues in 2009. He finished 0-5 and is now hitting .179.
WP – Tim Wakefield (1-0)
LP – Brett Anderson (0-2)