Wakefield looks for his first win over Seattle in nine seasons when the Red Sox meet the Mariners in the middle game of a weekend set at Fenway Park.
Since defeating the Mariners on July 29, 1997, Wakefield—the senior member of the Red Sox—has earned 96 wins, including victories over every AL team except Seattle.
He is 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts and 10 relief appearances versus the Mariners over that span.
Wakefield worked out of two bases-loaded jams in six innings on Sunday at Baltimore, allowing just one unearned run in Boston’s 4-1 win. It was a big turnaround from his season debut on April 4, when he gave up seven earned runs in 3 2-3 innings at Texas to take the loss.
“You always want to get back out there. I had pretty good stuff in Texas, almost too good,” Wakefield said. “I couldn’t control it and I couldn’t throw it for strikes.
“When that happens, you start walking guys and it leads to really big innings. Today I felt more comfortable.”
Wakefield looks to team with Schilling for back-to-back wins for the second time in the past week. Schilling improved to 3-0 in Friday night’s series opener, limiting the Mariners (5-6) to one run on three hits in eight innings as Boston won 2-1.
The victory was the third of the season by the same score for the Red Sox (7-3). Boston is 3-0 when scoring fewer than three runs—matching its total from last season when it dropped 22 of 25 one-run decisions.
Mariners designated hitter Carl Everett—who played for Boston in 2000 and 2001—went 0-for-3 and saw his average drop to .114, but would not acknowledge Seattle fell victim to a hot pitcher.
“We had our chances,” Everett said. “I’m not going to give (Schilling) credit. That’ll never happen. I make my living off of pitchers.”
Jonathan Papelbon earned his fifth save in five opportunities Friday. Opposing hitters are just 2-for-20 this season against the right-hander.
“It’s nice to give him the ball,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I have a lot of confidence in the young man.”
Boston left fielder Manny Ramirez went 0-for-3 and has just one hit in his last 18 at-bats.
But Ramirez has a good chance to end his slump against Seattle starter Joel Pineiro. Ramirez is 9-for-20 in his career against Pineiro with three home runs and five RBIs.
Boston’s other top slugger, David Ortiz, has similar numbers versus Pineiro, going 8-for-20 with three homers and 11 RBIs lifetime.
Pineiro won his first two career starts against the Red Sox in 2002, but has since struggled mightily against them. He is 0-5 with a 9.87 ERA in his last six starts versus Boston, and has allowed six runs or more in each of the last four.
The Mariners have scored 42 runs and are batting .331 in their five victories this season. They have scored just 14 runs and batted .153 in their six losses.