When we were kids we used to play a poker game called 'Baseball' involving wild cards that were 3s and 9s. Tim Wakefield had that going tonight, pitching eight innings of two-hit baseball, walking none (thank God), and fanning six. Mike Timlin closed it out. Wakefield's effort also recharged the bullpen battery as both Okajima and Papelbon had the night off.
Wakefield lowered his ERA to that 'Baseball' reminder, 3.33, at one point retiring 17 Tigers in a row. And mirabile dictu, the game lasted about 2:25. So it can be done.
Manny Ramirez moved to within three of five hundred on the back end of back-to-back jacks by David Ortiz (7) and his own seventh.
And who leads the Red Sox 'regulars' in hitting? None other than Tim Wakefield's personal catcher, Kevin Cash, whose three hits raised his average to .361.
The Red Sox raised their record to 22-13, third best in the majors behind Arizona and St. Louis. They squared their road record at 8-8 and have recently improved their run differential dramatically.
The Sox have now moved back into first place in runs scored in the AL and better yet, have lowered the team ERA to 3.97 good for fifth place in the AL. Red Sox starters now have a 3.58 ERA for the season, fourth in the AL. The ever-nearby Evil Empire starters are 13th at 4.90, although they will surely improve.