Tim Wakefield earned his 200th win on his eighth try, Dustin Pedroia hit two homers in Boston's highest-scoring game of the season and the Red Sox ended a five-game losing streak with an 18-6 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
The Red Sox needed the victory badly after their AL wild-card lead over Tampa Bay had dropped from nine games to three over the previous nine days. And the 45-year-old knuckleballer was eager to end the long wait – 0-3 in seven outings since his last win July 24 – to become the 108th pitcher with 200 wins.
Wakefield (7-6) went six innings and overcame a shaky outing to retire his final six batters. He left with a 6-5 lead after allowing six hits and two walks. He struck out two.
The crowd at Fenway Park clapped and chanted "Wakefield! Wakefield!" as Junichi Tazawa pitched the ninth for Boston, which moved four games in front of the Rays. Tampa Bay lost 4-2 at Baltimore.
The Red Sox added to their cushion with four runs in the sixth on a double by Carl Crawford, an RBI single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a single by Jacoby Ellsbury and a three-run homer by Pedroia, his 20th of the year.