Tim Wakefield wasn’t too happy about taking the loss that ended Boston’s season-high 10-game winning streak his last time out.
The veteran knuckleballer will try to help the seemingly unstoppable Red Sox extend a four-game win streak when they open a four-game series with Ichiro Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
With the Red Sox chasing down the New York Yankees in the AL East and battling to build on their cushion in the wild-card chase, Wakefield put a temporary halt to their momentum Saturday at Fenway Park. The right-hander was pounded for a season high-tying eight runs and eight hits over six innings in an 8-6 loss to Texas.
“I left with eight runs on the board,” said Wakefield, who had allowed six runs over 21 innings in winning his previous three starts. “I am not happy about it.”
Wakefield, who has not lost consecutive starts since May 29-June 4, has surrendered a team-high 26 homers in 27 starts, including two on Saturday.
“His margin of error sometimes is smaller than other guys’ and when he does make a bad pitch, they capitalize on it,” Boston catcher Doug Mirabelli said of Wakefield.
The Red Sox continued their hunt for first place in the East by completing a three-game sweep of AL West-leading Oakland with an 8-3 win Wednesday. Pedro Martinez outpitched Tim Hudson and David Ortiz had a two-run single as Boston won for the 14th time in 15 games to climb within two games of the idle Yankees. The Red Sox lead the wild card by five games over Anaheim.
New York and Boston have six games remaining against one another later this month.
The last-place Mariners have lost seven straight, but are still drawing national attention thanks to Suzuki’s pursuit of the all-time single-season hits record. The Japanese right fielder went 1-for-5 in Wednesday’s 9-5 loss to Cleveland, extending his hitting streak to 13 games and moving within 30 hits of George Sisler’s single-season record of 257, set in 1920.
The Mariners have 24 games left.