KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This was supposed to be Salute to the Old Man Night in Kauffman Stadium, where Tim Wakefield gave the Sox seven strong innings. But the bullpen coughed up the game for him in a 4-3 loss to the Royals. Kansas City scored two in the eighth off Hideki Okajima and Daniel Bard. Rick Ankiels' broken-bat, two-run single was the difference.
* The Sox put a potential tying run at second base on Mike Cameron's single and Marco Scutaro's sacrifice, but Jacoby Ellsbury took a called third strike and Dustin Pedroia fouled off seven pitches before flying to right.
* Wakefield, nervous? "Not really,'' said the oldest pitcher ever to start a game for the Sox. "I was just talking to my wife about it. I feel a little bit maybe on my way to the park, but once I'm here and settle into my routine, I'm fine.''
Wakefield had no idea who he had to pass to become the oldest. Told it was a former teammate, he guessed Bret Saberhagen, then Pete Schourek, and was surprised to hear it was The Boomer, David Wells, who was 43 years and 98 days in his last start for the Sox on Aug. 26, 2006. Wakefield is 43 years and 250 days old.
Sox manager Terry Francona, upon hearing that Wakefield was the oldest Sox pitcher to start a game, said: "I hope he becomes the oldest player to win one.''
* The Royals still do all the little things that lead to a loss, like getting consecutive runners cut down on the base paths. Rick Ankiel wasted his one-out double in the fourth when he tried to advance on a ball hit in front of him, to short. Jose Guillen, who reached on the play, was then erased at the plate on Dustin Pedroia's strong relay, Victor Martinez doing a nice job of blocking the plate.
Then, after drawing to within 3-2 on home runs on consecutive pitches by Billy Butler and Ankiel, Royals reliever Robinson Tejeda entered and walked the only three batters he faced. But J.D. Drew was cut down stealing, and Kyle Farnsworth retired Jacoby Ellsbury (tapper to first) and Dustin Pedroia (whiff) to end the threat.
* David Ortiz was ejected for the eighth time in his career after plate umpire Mike Estabrook ruled he went around on a pitch in the sixth, and refused to accede to Ortiz's request to ask the third-base ump for help.