Wakefield enhanced his status as a first-time All-Star by earning his AL-leading 11th victory, and David Ortiz(notes) homered and drove in four runs to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Wednesday night.
“Unbelievable. I’m really happy for him, making the All-Star game,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to park myself in front of the TV and I can’t wait until he gets in the game. It’s going to be fun. I want to see who’s going to have to catch him.”
The 42-year-old Wakefield (11-3) is the second-oldest player to be selected for the game behind Satchel Paige, who was 46 in 1952. Wakefield will wait to see what AL manager Joe Maddon of Tampa Bay plans for him.
“When I get to St. Louis I’ll see what he has for me,” Wakefield said.
Wakefield left to a standing ovation in the seventh inning in his final scheduled start before the break. He improved to 9-0 in his last 11 starts at Fenway Park.
“His knuckleball was kind of off and on,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “There were at-bats where guys came back and said they’d never seen it move as much as it was.”
Of the first 10 batters he faced, Wakefield struck out five and three had hits.
“He got himself into a couple of binds,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He pitched through a lot of hits.”
Wakefield gave up three earned runs despite allowing 10 hits, struck out eight and walked one.
“And I said, ‘OK, I’m going to try that one, I’m going to close my eyes and swing.’ And nothing.”
Ortiz drove his fourth run with a grounder, making it 5-3 in the seventh.
Boston shortstop Nick Green(notes) stepped wide of second base as he caught first baseman Mark Kotsay’s(notes) throw trying to double up Bobby Crosby(notes) on a shallow fly. The play was originally ruled an error, but changed after the game. Suzuki then singled in two runs.
Cust, just 9 for 45 with 21 strikeouts in his previous 13 games, gave Oakland a 1-0 lead with his single in the second.
Wakefield also worked out of a jams the next two innings.
Wakefield gave up Cust’s leadoff double in the fourth, but Crosby lined into an inning-ending double play.
NOTES: Oakland 1B Nomar Garciaparra(notes) got a standing ovation again when he pinch hit. He received a lengthy one Monday in first Fenway game since being traded in 2004. … The Red Sox activated SS Jed Lowrie(notes) from the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday and optioned him to Single-A Lowell so he can continue to play after left wrist surgery in April. To make room, OF Jonathan Van Every(notes) was designated for assignment. … Athletics 1B/DH Jason Giambi(notes), in a 5-for-44 slump, was benched against Wakefield. He’s hit .163 (15 for 92) against Wakefield with 21 strikeouts. … Cahill was Oakland’s second 21-year old starter in the series. LHP Brett Anderson(notes) threw a two-hitter to win the opener. … Boston avoided losing a second straight series at Fenway. The Red Sox earlier lost consecutive home series against the New York Mets and Texas Rangers — though they were nearly two weeks apart.