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Coming off one of the best outings in his 18-year career, Tim Wakefield was looking to get the Red Sox back on the right foot after Daisuke Matsuzaka struggled with his command in Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Royals. Wake had good intentions. That’s about all the good you can say about his performance.
Let’s cut to the chase: Wakefield allowed nine runs on 12 hits and three walks in 3.2 innings. Given a 5-2 lead in the fourth inning, Wakefield unraveled like a ball of yarn rolling across the floor. It all happened so quickly. The knuckleballer allowed seven runs on seven hits in the inning, including a backbreaking, tie-breaking grand slam allowed to Royals shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt to blow the game wide open.
Before that fourth inning, everything was looking great. Victor Martinez hit a two-run shot in the third inning and a two-run double in the first inning as the Sox raced to 3-0 and 5-2 leads.
After that disastrous inning, the Royals knocked in three more runs off Ramon Ramirez and Hideki Okajima, before utility player Bill Hall lived up to his name, and took the mound for the ninth inning. Hall did it well, and was the only player to finish with a 1-2-3 inning. Terry, sign him up!
Martinez finished 2-4 with two hard-hit balls to the gap. One of them landed near the triangle in center field, while the others found the right field seats. This is especially impressive considering Victor suffered a toe injury in the Rays series. Well done, Victor. Well done.
How could I not choose one of the worst performances this season? And to think, if Wakefield just recorded another out in the fourth inning, and they maybe could have won. Instead, he allowed a devastating grand slam, which completely deflated the Sox.
W: Kyle Davies (4-3)
L: Tim Wakefield (1-3)