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David Brown

Morning Juice: Old faves Ortiz, Wakefield get it done for Red Sox

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This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts at Fenway Park, where they said good-bye to Ted Kennedy (along with a couple of baseballs Big Papi hit) and hello, again to Knuckles Wakefield.

Game of the Day: Red Sox 3, White Sox 2

Brass knuckles: In his first start since the All-Star break, knucklehead Tim Wakefield(notes) was very good, good enough to make Brad Penny(notes) obsolete with the Red Sox, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Wakefield didn't pick up the victory but allowed a run, six hits and one walk over seven innings.

Homer hanky panky: Four runs in this game came on solo homers, including Scott Podsednik's(notes) liner over the Fenway bullpens and Big Papi's tie-breaker in the bottom of the ninth that wrapped around the Pesky Pole in right.

It was Ortiz's first multi-homer game of the season and 10th game-ending homer, his team record ninth. Jimmie Foxx had nine. Ortiz said new guy Victor Martinez(notes) goaded him into doing it.

"Victor, man, he just pushed me for every at-bat," Ortiz said. "He got in my face and started screaming at me. I liked it. It got me in the mood."

Wakefield also praised Martinez's ability to catch his knuckleball.

"For the first time catching me in a game situation with hitters up there, he did a phenomenal job," Wakefield said.

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The Lion sleeps tonight: Before the game, tribute was paid to Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died Wednesday after a long bout with cancer. Kennedy's grandfather christened Fenway by throwing its first ceremonial pitch 97 years ago, Wakefield's rookie season.

How'd he manage a trois?: Anthropologists will be more fascinated over time by the RBI triple Paul Konerko(notes) hit in the top of the first. Yes, Paul Konerko, the slowest person the majors, bar none. He actually tripled a little more than a year ago but had not done so before that since 2000. So, he's hitting them in bunches.

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Feelin' Rundown (red-hot pennant action):

Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: This one's gonna hurt. Rod Barajas(notes) hit the tying home run against J.P. Thurston Howell III, then the lefty walked three guys before uncorking a wild pitch. What a ninth.

"This is as bad as a gets as a relief pitcher," Howell said. "Everyone does so much work to get there and you just want to get out of there, man."

The Rays are four games behind the Red Sox for the wild card.

Ump at your own risk: They were down to their third-string home plate umpire after Jerry Crawford and Tom Hallion went down with injuries. Crawford took a foul ball off his mask and Hallion took a Scott Kazmir(notes) fastball in the chest.

Brian O'Nora took over at home after starting the game at third base and Hallion eventually returned.

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Yankees 9, Rangers 2: If you don't like that Paul McCartney (center) is sitting on one side of Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels ...

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... then Jack Nicholson will have to do on the other side.

Phillies 4, Pirates 1 (10 inn.): With Brad Lidge(notes) resting, it was Ryan Madson's(notes) turn to blow the save — and he did not disappoint — but the Phillies won anyway because Ryan Howard(notes) went yard against Steven Jackson(notes). Shouldn't SJ be in Rams camp?

Oh, I like this rumor: Trevor Hoffman to the Phillies.

Indians 4, Royals 2: The Tribe settled down after insurgents attacked the team bus on the way to the K (a hunch — was the driver licensed in Kansas?). This incident is unrelated Kyle Denney/go-go boots/Indians bus shooting in KC of 2004.

Padres 12, Braves 5: Second time this month the Padres, bottom feeders in runs, have scored at least 12 in a game. What do you tell your kids? That, sometimes, bad things happen to good pitching staffs.

Angels 4, Tigers 2: Is it fair to say the Tigers failed to take advantage of the White Sox and Twins losing? No, because this game was played before the others. To hold them accountable would assume they still had Gates "Doc" Brown's time machine. But Denny McLain broke it, anyway, so that's a non-issue.

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Cardinals 3, Astros 2: Wow — Joel Pineiro(notes) (right) has won seven straight decisions. Some of his success is owed to pitching coach Dave Duncan, who actually missed a game this week for personal reasons. Tony La Russa said he could not remember Duncan missing any other games since 1983, when they started working together with the White Sox. They're like an old married couple.

Marlins 5, Mets 3: New York Post writer Bart Hubbuch (also a great backup catcher name) Tweets: "A little bit of research: The payroll just for Mets players on the DL would be higher than the total budgets of 17 other teams."

Cubs 9, Nationals 4: Milton Bradley(notes) drove in three runs and made no mention of any infamous beatings in the postgame interview I watched.

Later, however, he indicated that he's been the victim of racist taunting by some Cubs fans and others. He did not give examples.

"America doesn't believe in racism," Bradley said sarcastically before repeating the remark.

"I'm talking about hatred, period," he continued. "I'm talking about when I go to eat at a restaurant, I have to listen to the waiters bad-mouthing me at another table, sitting in a restaurant, that's what I'm talking about — everything.

"What can you do?" he added. "You can't do nothing. You listen to them yell at you."

Orioles 5, Twins 1: The Twinkies can't win them all, especially with Jeremy Guthrie(notes) back in form like this. ... Check out this play by Alexei Casilla. It's awesome, yes, but it's also unique to the Metrodome, with it's artificial surface on top of concrete. This kind of stuff won't happen outside at Target Field. The Twins are going to have to start earning a living at home next year.

Dodgers 6, Rockies 1: No, the Rox won't win all of their remaining games in some kind of cardiac fashion. ... Randy Wolf's(notes) effort was called "spectacular" in the AP story. Let's see ... 7 1/3 innings ... five hits ... a run ... two walks ... five strikeouts. Yes. It borders on spectacular, anyway. Neighbors to spectacular.

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Reds 4, Brewers 3 (10 inn.): A day after throwing out Ryan Braun as the potential winning run at home, Darnell McDonald(notes) drove in the winning run with a double over the misjudging head of — yep — Ryan Braun. It's up there with the best 24 hours ever spent in Milwaukee County. Joey Votto(notes) (right) says, "That's twice you got us, McDonald!" Either that, or he wants two with Secret Stadium Sauce.

Giants 4, D-backs 3: Los Gigantes have won a couple of one-run games since the awfulness of Coors Field. They have ganas — desire! ... Bengie Molina(notes), not one to wait around for Buster Posey to take his job, hit a three-run go-ahead deep in the eighth.

Mariners 5, Athletics 3: Ooh, Tish, I love it when the M's pitch Luke French(notes)!

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