Tim Wakefield(notes) has been stuck on 199 career victories for more than a month. If the Boston Red Sox lineup has a repeat performance of its last game, he may not be waiting much longer for an elusive milestone win.
The 45-year-old knuckleballer once again goes for victory No. 200 when Boston continues its four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.
Wakefield (6-6, 4.95 ERA) will be making his seventh start and eighth appearance since his last win July 24, going 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in that stretch. Manager Terry Francona opted to start Andrew Miller(notes) in Wakefield’s spot Friday, though Wakefield did pitch four innings of three-hit relief in a 10-0 loss to Texas.
In his most recent start Aug. 26, he allowed eight runs - four earned - in four innings of a 15-5 loss to Oakland.
Wakefield, baseball’s oldest current player and the active career wins leader, pitched well in his only start against Toronto (70-72) this season, allowing three runs in seven innings of a 6-4 victory July 6.
This will be Wakefield’s fifth straight start against a team with a losing record.
Boston had lost four of its previous five games, getting shut out twice in that stretch.
The Blue Jays continue to struggle after being shut out for the third time in their last 18 games. They were shut out four times through their first 124 contests of 2011.
Though Morrow has won more recently than Wakefield, he’s struggling just the same. He’s 1-5 with a 5.40 ERA in his last six outings after allowing three runs in six innings of a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday. That performance was an improvement from his other recent outings, but run support was still lacking.
The Blue Jays have scored nine runs for Morrow over his last six starts, including three outings in which they gave him no support.
Poor support wasn’t an excuse for Morrow against Boston on June 11, when he allowed nine runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 16-4 loss. He allowed four runs in five innings in a 9-7 win over the Red Sox on July 4.
He’s 1-2 with an 11.14 ERA in five career starts versus Boston.
Toronto has lost four of five.