A 12-8 win isn't the sort of game that you'd consider perfect, but in some ways, today's win over the Mariners was just that.
Yes, Tim Wakefield ran into problems, but the offense backed him up. He allowed two in the first, and they scored five in the bottom half. He gave another in the fifth, and just like that, five more. The grand slam that chased him in the top of the seventh was generally unanswered, but the Sox were never really in any great danger of losing the game.
Meanwhile, the offense came in some of the best possible ways. Everyone but Marco Scutaro picked up a hit, including three for Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Dustin Pedroia's late double extended his hitting streak to three games, Jarrod Saltalamacchia wore out right field with three line drive singles in that direction (two of them bringing multiple runs in), and Kevin Youkilis flashed the home run power we'd like to see more of as the season runs down. Josh Reddick even chipped in after a bad start, going opposite field both on the ground and in the air for a pair of hits.
Much of this came against Michael Pineda, who entered the game with a era of 3.24. It's 3.64 now.
And while Wakefield's start wasn't good per se, it was eventful. A strikeout of Mike Carp to end the sixth was the Knuckleballer's 2,000th since joining the Red Sox, and the win he left with puts him one away from 200.
The Rays and Yankees both won today too (the Rays convincingly, the Yankees much less so), so there's no change in the standings. But of those three teams, the Sox are the only ones who can really be happy with that right now.
It's Jon Lester making his return tomorrow against the Royals. It's been a while, so he might not be totally sharp, but when last we saw the lefty, he was looking pretty much perfect.