Red Sox 2, Rockies 1
BOSTON (AP)—Facing a pitcher for the first time is always challenging. Batting against an unfamiliar knuckleballer in interleague play?
Wakefield (6-7) allowed four hits in a season-high eight innings, and Ortiz went 3-for-3 with a double that helped break an eighth-inning tie to give Boston its fourth victory in five games. The 40-year-old knuckleballer struck out three and walked one to win for just the second time in six starts.
“The good thing for us is, we’ve only got to face him once this year,” right fielder Brad Hawpe said. “The thing that’s so tough is, he’s throwing strikes. And it moves three different directions on its way there.”
The only batter in the Rockies lineup who had faced Wakefield before was Todd Helton. He was 0-for-1 during the last Red Sox-Rockies interleague series, in 2002.
“I think that’s what we’re hoping (when) you go up against guys you haven’t faced,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “But he still threw the ball. On a night like tonight, I don’t care how many times you’ve faced him. He was very good.”
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two, for his 15th save.
“He was commanding,” Francona said. “And I don’t think following Wake hurt, either.”
Aaron Cook (4-3) allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out four in 7 1-3 innings, as the Rockies failed to return to .500 for the first time since April 13.
Cook held Boston to just one run before Dustin Pedroia singled to lead off the eighth. Kevin Youkilis was out on a long fly to center, then Jeremy Affeldt gave up a double to Ortiz; pinch-runner Alex Cora was held up at third base.
“I was in a situation where I wanted to get a pitch in a good part of the zone to be able to drive,” Drew said. “I was fortunate to get in a 3-1 count with a pitch out over the plate.”
Wakefield was cruising, shutting the Rockies out on two hits and a walk in the first seven innings, before Hawpe doubled to lead off the eighth. Hawpe moved to third on Ryan Spilborghs’ fly to right; Troy Tulowitzki followed with a fly to right that wasn’t deep enough to score the runner.
But Yorvit Torreabla followed with a single to center to tie the game 1-1.
Julio Lugo, who entered the game hitting .213, was dropped from first to ninth in the batting order before the game. He helped Boston take a 1-0 lead in the third with a double and stolen base, then scored on Youkilis’ double.
The only current Rockies playing for the team on their only other visit to Fenway Park, in 2002, were Helton and closer Brian Fuentes. … Pedroia, who’s batting .316, led off for Boston. … Red Sox prospects Daniel Bard and Ryan Phillips combined on a rain-shortened, six-inning no-hitter for Boston’s Single-A affiliate in Greenville to beat Kannapolis 5-0 in the Carolina League. … Rockies CF Willy Taveras snapped a 15-game hitting streak that had been the longest active streak in the NL.