ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Tim Wakefield picked up a special
"I wanted to win for my new son," he said after leading the
Boston Red Sox over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-3 Tuesday night.
"Being a new father, I'm pretty excited about that. It's been a
whirlwind. I'm still on cloud nine."
Backed by Mark Bellhorn's three-run homer, Wakefield (3-2)
allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. It was Wakefield's
first start since Trevor Stephen was born last Saturday.
Wakefield had the game ball in his locker, next to the picture
of his son. The ball will go to Trevor Stephen.
"Tim was awesome," Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon said.
"It's going to be a game that he always remembers."
After allowing Carl Crawford's leadoff single in the first, the
knuckleballer retired 13 straight before walking Jose Cruz Jr. with
one out in the fifth. Wakefield struck out two and walked two,
improving to 9-1 against Tampa Bay.
"It's been a long week for Wake ... a good week," Boston
manager Terry Francona said. "He pitched really, really well. I
bet he's going to sleep good tonight."
Wakefield has won 105 games with Boston, tying Pedro Martinez
and Lefty Grove for eighth place.
Bellhorn homered during a five-run seventh, helping boost the
Red Sox to 18-8 against AL East opponents this season.
Tino Martinez drove in two runs for Tampa Bay, which has lost
four straight and 11 of 12. The Devil Rays (10-27) have the worst
record in the major leagues.
Mark Hendrickson (3-3) gave up six runs and eight hits in
"I was fighting all night," Hendrickson said. "I probably
didn't have my best stuff, but I got through the first six innings.
It caught up to me in the seventh and kind of steamrolled."
The Devil Rays took a 1-0 lead when Crawford scored from third
on Martinez's first-inning grounder. Crawford stole second for his
19th stolen base of the season before advancing to third on Rocco
Baldelli's fly ball.
Boston went up 7-1 in the seventh. Gabe Kapler and Damon had RBI
doubles off Hendrickson. Bellhorn then greeted reliever Jeremi
Gonzalez with his three-run shot.
The Red Sox have 72 homers -- the most by any Tampa Bay opponent
-- at Tropicana Field since the Devil Rays began play in 1998.
Damon was hit in the neck and had his helmet knocked off at
second base on his double by Tampa Bay shortstop Julio Lugo, who
was running after a loose ball. Damon stayed in the game, but was
replaced in center by Cesar Crespo in the bottom of the inning.
"I'm actually fine," Damon said. "When Lugo hit my neck, my
neck cracked about ten times. A little whiplash action. I'm
penciled in the line up tomorrow. Just a little stiffness in the
Martinez made it 7-2 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Tampa Bay first baseman Robert Fick was ejected by plate umpire
Gary Cederstrom in the seventh. After hitting an infield fly, Fick
was thrown out after yelling at the umpire from the dugout.
Manny Ramirez (sore groin) was the Boston DH for the third
straight game. He went 3-for-4 with a walk and has reached base
safely in 16 straight games. ... Lugo batted fourth for the first
time in his career. He was hitless in four at-bats. ... Mueller was
back in the lineup after missing the past three games because of an
inflamed right knee and went 3-for4. ... The Devil Rays recalled OF
Jonny Gomes from Triple-A Durham and designated OF Midre Cummings
for assignment. ... Wakefield made his 400th major league
appearance, including 260 starts. ... Tampa Bay intend to call up
RHP Rob Bell from Durham to start Wednesday against Boston.