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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Wakefield Rules Mound In 5-3 Sox vs. Sox Duel

CHICAGO -- Tim Wakefield does not have a 90-mph fastball, a quick-breaking slider or a slow curve. All he has is a pitch he can't predict and the hitters, at least this season, cannot hit.


Throwing his maddening knuckleball over and over, he dazed and confused the White Sox, holding them scoreless into the eighth inning, as the Boston Red Sox won 5-3 before 22,391 Wednesday at Comiskey Park.


Wakefield, a right-hander, is 9-1 since joining Boston in May. He lowered his ERA to 1.66.


"It helps being in the Windy City,'' said Wakefield, who won his fifth start in a row. "I cannot control the amount of break on it. All I do is try to throw the ball over the middle of the plate and hope for as many strikes as possible.''


Wakefield walked none, but he did float one into the ribs of Ron Karkovice -- getting hit with a knuckler must be baseball's equivalent to a paper cut -- to stir the Boston bullpen in the eighth. After Lance Johnson singled to put two on with one out, manager Kevin Kennedy replaced Wakefield with left-hander Rheal Cormier.


"My philosophy is to take him out one batter early, rather than one batter too late,'' Kennedy said.


This was that small window of opportunity between Wakefield and closer Rick Aguilera. Cormier got Tim Raines on a fly to right, but right-hander Stan Belinda walked Frank Thomas to load the bases.


Robin Ventura and John Kruk, left-handed hitters, were up next with untested Brian Bark the only left-hander left in the bullpen. Kennedy went to Aguilera.


Ventura walked to force in the run -- charged to Wakefield. Kruk, who had struck out three times against the knuckler, was in no condition to hit against a conventional pitcher. He took a 1-and-2 pitch on the inside corner for strike 3.


The teams traded solo home runs before Aguilera closed it out.


"I guess a save like that is exciting for the people in the ballpark,'' Aguilera said. "But I didn't enjoy it.''


In other AL action, it was Athletics 2, Tigers 1; Brewers 7, Mariners 6 in 12 innings; Yankees 5, Royals 2; Angels 10, Blue Jays 2; Twins 5, Orioles 3; and Indians 14, Rangers 5.


NL scores were Reds 7, Padres 4; Rockies 5, Phillies 3; Expos 4, Cubs 3; Mets 5, Cardinals 4 in 10 innings; Marlins 3, Giants 1; Dodgers 6, Astros 5; and Braves 3, Pirates 2.