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And just like that, the team held together by strings finally fell apart.
The Red Sox, who are fielding practically half of what they had in mind for the Opening Day lineup, dropped their third straight game in Tampa on Wednesday, falling to David Price, who earned his 12th win of the season. Price allowed just two runs on eight hits in 7.2 innings, and he received more than enough run support.
The Rays scored the first five runs of the game, getting two in the fourth on an Evan Longoria solo home run (that went about 442 feet to left field) and and a Carlos Pena run scored on an errant throw to first base by Marco Scutaro. Tampa collected three more in the fifth inning on a Wakefield wild pitch, a Pena RBI single, and another run on a Bill Hall throwing error.
In all, Wakefield allowed six runs (all earned) on four hits and six walks over 5.2 innings. Sometimes Wake is wild, and he clearly was that on Wednesday, which is why he fell to 3-7 on the season.
The Red Sox made a mad dash to try and get back in the game, scoring a run in the sixth and seventh, and two more in the ninth inning. Kevin Youkilis, who favored his ankle injury during the game, lined out with two men on in the ninth for the last out. Strangely enough, Matt Garza, who allowed four runs on seven hits in Monday’s start, came out of the bullpen for the first time in his Rays career, and retired the last two hitters to earn his first career save.
Cameron showed up to play on Wednesday, finishing 3-3 with a HR, 2 RBI, and a sac fly. Well done Mike!
In all, Tampa managed just five hits, but also walked six times off Wakefield as the knuckleballer was all over the place. Wake gave the Sox a big dud of a start when they needed someone to step up.
W: David Price (12-4)
L: Tim Wakefield (3-7)