Wakefield went 2-3 in July, but capped the month with a 4-1 victory over the Devil Rays at Tropicana Field and hasn’t slowed down since. The veteran knuckleballer won his first three August starts and is 4-1 this month, giving him a team-high 13 wins.
Wakefield was reached for five runs and seven hits over six innings in Friday’s 9-8 win over Detroit. He also was hit by a batted ball for the second straight game when Dmitri Young’s shot struck near his right knee in the first inning.
On Aug. 18, Wakefield left his lone loss of the month, a 13-4 setback to the Los Angeles Angels, after 4 1-3 innings when a ball struck him lower on the same leg.
“The way I look at it, when Wake got hit, he probably could have broke his shin and he still would have stayed in the game,” Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin said. “He wanted to be in there and he wanted to win. It shows a lot what he’s made of.”
Wakefield figures to finish August with a flourish as he is 12-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 27 career appearances, including 17 starts, against the Devil Rays.
Boston overcame a five-run deficit to beat Tampa Bay 7-6 on Tuesday. Trot Nixon’s two-out RBI single in the ninth gave the Red Sox their 17th win in 18 home games.
The Red Sox moved 2 1/2 games in front of the second-place New York Yankees in the AL East. Boston has finished second to New York in the division in each of the last seven years.