's next trip to the mound may be in the All-Star game. Look out, any AL catcher trying to handle his knuckleball.
Wakefield enhanced his status as a first-time All-Star by earning his AL-leading 11th victory, and
homered and drove in four runs to lead the
Boston Red Sox
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
, 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
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,''
said. ''He pitched through a lot of hits.''
J.D. Drew led off the Boston sixth with a home run that made it 1-all. Ortiz connected for a three-run shot later in the inning.
Wakefield gave up three earned runs despite allowing 10 hits, struck out eight and walked one.
''I was telling George (
catcher Kottaras) behind the plate, 'How do you even catch that ball?''' Oakland shortstop
said. ''He was like, 'I just close my eyes.'
''And I said, 'OK, I'm going to try that one, I'm going to close my eyes and swing.' And nothing.''
allowed a run in the ninth, but got his 22nd save.
had three hits, including an RBI single, but struck out with two runners on to end the game.
had three hits and drove in two runs for Oakland.
Boston trailed 1-0 before scoring four times in the sixth against rookie
(5-8). Drew homered into the Athletics' bullpen and Ortiz homered deep into the right-field seats.
Ortiz drove his fourth run with a grounder, making it 5-3 in the seventh.
Wakefield exited with two runners on and no outs in the seventh. Reliever
nearly escaped without allowing a run, but a strange play kept the inning going.
stepped wide of second base as he caught first baseman
's throw trying to double up
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.
The Athletics had runners on first and third with no outs after jumping ahead, but Wakefield retired the next three hitters
easily, fanning the final two -
and Crosby - swinging.
Wakefield also worked out of a jams the next two innings.
In the third,
fouled out and Suzuki grounded out with two on.
Wakefield gave up Cust's leadoff double in the fourth, but Crosby lined into an inning-ending double play.
NOTES: Oakland 1B
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
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
was designated for assignment. ... Athletics 1B/DH
, 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
threw a two-hitter to win the opener. ... Boston avoided losing a second straight series at Fenway. The
earlier lost consecutive home series against the
New York Mets
- though they were nearly two weeks apart.