Tim Wakefield tied a franchise record for the most games started and threw six shutout innings to lead the Boston Red Sox past the Atlanta Braves 1-0. Wakefield, 42, allowed just three hits, striking out one and walking one, in his 382nd start for the Red Sox, which equalled Roger Clemens for most career starts in a Boston shirt.
"Just to be mentioned with the names that I'm mentioned with is pretty cool," Wakefield said. "It's a testament to not only longevity and perseverance, but also the organisation for keeping me around and giving me a chance to still pitch in a Red Sox uniform." Wakefield (10-3) became the American League's third 10-game winner, allowing just three singles against the struggling Braves. "It feels really good to have 10 wins before the All-Star break," Wakefield said.
The Boston manager Terry Francona had nothing but praise for the veteran pitcher. "He continues to pitch his rear end off," said Francona. "He just keeps going out there and doing what he's supposed to do. It's fun to watch. I'm proud of him." Mark Kotsay drove in the lone run of the game with a sixth inning single off Javier Vazquez (5-7), who allowed just one run on six hits over seven innings. "We've got to keep our heads up and keep battling," said Vazquez. "The guys are going to come out of this."
The Braves have now lost four consecutive games to slip to a season-worst six games under the .500 mark at 34-40. Meanwhile, in other MLB action, Albert Pujols struck a pair of two-run homers as the St Louis Cardinals defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-3. Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first inning to put the Cardinals ahead before adding another in the third. Pujols now has 28 home runs this year.
Houston claimed their third successive victory as Felipe Paulino gave up one run and three hits in seven innings to guide the Astros to an 8-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. Jayson Werth hit two homers as the Philadelphia Phillies blanked the Toronto Blue Jays 10-0, while AJ Burnett gave up one hit in seven scoreless innings as the New York Yankees secured a 5-0 win over the New York Mets.
Burnett struck out a season-high 10 and walked three batters while Jorge Posada struck a three-run homer in the top of the sixth for the Yankees. Ken Griffey Jr and Russell Branyan both hit home runs as the Seattle Mariners secured a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Griffey's homer was his ninth this season and 55th in Interleague play. * Reuters