TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 7: Tim Wakefield #49 of the Boston Red Sox throws a pitch during MLB action against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre September 7, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
It took nearly two months, but 45-year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield finally earned his 200th career victory.
Dustin Pedroia crushed two homeruns and five RBI to lead the charge, and Wakefield finally received his big moment, tossing six innings of six-hit, five-run ball with six strikeouts in Boston's biggest game of the season. The win was the 45-year-old knuckleballer's first since July 24th, and made him the 108th pitcher in major-league history to reach the 200-win mountaintop.
Though things looked hazy early on. Caught in a back-and-forth battle midway through the fourth inning, Jacoby Ellsbury strolled to the plate facing a 5-4 deficit before slamming a solo shot to deep left center. The tying run marked just one of four hits in the game for the young outfielder, and was immediately followed by a Pedroia blast that put the Red Sox up for good.
Red Sox catcher Jared Saltalamacchia chipped in with two hits and four RBI. Carl Crawford went 2-for-4 with three runs and a walk.
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow earned his eleventh loss of the season, giving up seven runs in 5-1/3 innings of work.
With the win -- and Tampa Bay's loss -- Boston stretches its Wild Card lead over the Rays to four games with only 15 left to play.