Starter Tim Wakefield looks to help the Red Sox bounce back from a pair of frustrating losses as they wrap up their three-game set with the Twins at the Metrodome.
The Red Sox lost 4-3 on Saturday for their second straight defeat since an eight-game winning streak. Boston committed two throwing errors in the ninth, allowing Minnesota’s Michael Cuddyer to score the winning run.
The Twins, who have won just three of their last 10 games, established a season high for runs scored in Friday’s 12-0 win. The defeat was Boston’s largest shutout loss since a 13-0 setback July 23, 1990, at Milwaukee.
Minnesota had scored just 72 runs in 22 games since the All-Star break coming into the series. Joe Mauer drove in two runs Saturday for the Twins, who are six games behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL wild-card race.
“Hopefully, we’ve turned the page and got the ship in the right direction,” Cuddyer said after the Twins won consecutive games for the first time since July 19-20. “We still have a lot of fight in the clubhouse and plan on playing in the postseason,” added Nick Punto, who also said this was his first game-winning sacrifice bunt.
Johnny Damon went 3-for-5, raising his AL-leading average to .341 and extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
Wakefield allowed four earned runs and six hits in seven innings of Tuesday’s 6-4 win over the Kansas City Royals. The victory was Wakefield’s 124th as a member of the Red Sox, moving him into third place on the team’s all-time list behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young.
“I’m truly honored and blessed to be mentioned with Cy and Roger and Mel Parnell and Luis Tiant and those guys,” said Wakefield, the longest-tenured member of the team. “I owe it to all of my teammates—not only the guys I’m playing with this year but to the 350-plus guys I played with my whole career here.”
Wakefield has won his last two starts after giving up 16 earned runs in 21 2-3 innings in his previous three, all losses.